Justice for Wage Theft

About the Initiative

Justice for Wage Theft” by Migrant Forum in Asia to call upon countries of origin and destination to urgently put in place a transitional justice mechanism that will not only secure justice for individual migrant workers who are owed billions of dollars in wages in wages from employers, but also challenge the economic actors who perpetuate systems of exploitation upon migrants.

Why is now the time to act?     

“Millions of migrant workers will be returning home without their earned wages or workplace grievances being heard. Leaving without justice, these migrant workers will be repatriated to situations of debt bondage. Under these circumstances, millions of dollars in wage theft will go unpaid, to the detriment of workers and to the benefit of businesses and employers who will be exempted from any accountability. Wage theft will lead to the loss of millions of dollars in remittances, greatly affecting the economies of countries of origin.”

What is your vision of change for the global economy with this initiative?

“To achieve decent work for vulnerable communities, migrant workers in particular, by facilitating access to justice for migrants who have been victims of wage theft. By facilitating access to justice, migrants will be able to get obtain compensation for their grievances, thereby increasing their capacity to send remittances and, subsequently, helping the economies of their countries of origin. While many businesses worldwide have started to receive various degrees of government assistance or bailouts, these benefits have rarely–if ever–included migrant workers as beneficiaries. When such benefits are provided to migrant workers through their employers, there is no mechanism to monitor and ensure that the migrant worker–who is the ultimate beneficiary–actually receives the benefits. The campaign will aim to hold businesses accountable – particularly those that have received bailouts or stimulus packages from governments- to ensure that they fulfil their legal obligations to protect the fundamental labor and human rights of migrant workers, including paying them the wages to which  they are entitled. Migrants who are paid their salaries will be able to send remittances that support the economies of their countries of origin. Migrants will also spend some of their salaries in countries of destination, supporting economic recovery.”

How do you plan to leverage RVF support?

“By referring our policy statements or multimedia materials to its media partners, as well as endorsing and sharing our campaign statements, petitions, and calls to action among its partners’ social media platforms, RVF support will greatly increase the visibility of our initiative.”

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