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Rights of Migrants

Mains- GS-2-Social Justice

1. Niti Aayog has drafted a national policy on migrant workers.

2. It prompts to reimagine labour-capital relations.


1. At least 26 lakh migrant workers were stranded across the country during the pandemic.

2. 10 lakh of them returned home.

3. Thousands were seen walking along highways and railway tracks to reach their villages.

4. This prompted NITI Aayog to draft a national policy on migrant workers.

Problems of migrants

1. Data on migrants was unavailable to put forward welfare measures.

2. Migrants could not access even the minimal social protection programmes.

3. They lacked agency and thereby power to bargain collectively.

4. Political parties are apathetic to migrants’ concerns.

The draft

1. It highlights the contribution of migrant workers to Indian Economy.

2. It calls for a “rights-based” approach to address the problems of circular migration , precarity, vulnerabilities and agency of the migrant workers.


1. The draft provides following measures to alleviate the problems of migrants.

a. Political inclusion to bridging the gaps in their access to health services, basic entitlements etc.

b. Integrating the migrant workers within the formal workforce. 

c. Coordination between labour ministries of source and destination state.

5. Inter-sectoral convergence to address the problems of migrants.

6.  Institutional framework for timely and targeted response in crises


1. A rights-based approach to welfare and social security would work only if the workers have agency.

2. Politicisation, unionisation and mobilisation has forced governments to see welfare as an essential aspect of industrial development.

Way forward

1. The draft reimagines the welfare of labour to make Indian economy competitive.

Source :Indian Express