Migration Current Affairs

Government Panel recommends legal framework to protect interests of migrants

Government appointed ‘Working Group on Migration’ headed by Partha Mukhopadhay has recommended necessary legal and policy framework to protect the interests of the migrants in the country.

The panel in its report stated that the migrant population makes substantial contribution to economic growth and so it is necessary to secure their Constitutional rights. The 18-member Working Group was constituted by Union Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) in 2015. 

Recommendations
  • Protocols of the Registrar General of India (RGI) should be amended to enable caste based enumeration of migrants so that they can avail the attendant benefits in the States to which migration takes place.
  • Migrants should be enabled to avail Public Distribution System (PDS) benefits in the destination state by providing for inter-State operability of PDS.
  • States should be encouraged to proactively eliminate the requirement of domicile status to prevent any discrimination in work and employment.
  • Domicile status goes against constitutional fundamental right of Freedom of Movement and residence in any part of the territory of the country.
  • States should include migrant children in the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan’s (SSA) Annual Work Plans to uphold their Right to Education.
  • Vast network of post offices should be made effective by reducing the cost of transfer of money to avoid informal remittences transfers by migrants.
  • Migrants should be enabled to open bank accounts and banks should adhere to RBI guidelines regarding Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and not insist on documents that were not required
  • Hugely underutilized Construction Workers Welfare Cess Fund (CWWF) should be used to promote rental housing, working Women Hostels etc. for the benefit of migrants.
Background

According to census 2011 and National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO), migrants constitute about 30% of the country’s population and also of the total working force. 2016-17 Economic Survey also noted that annual migration in the country increased to 9.00 million in 2016 from 3.30 million in 2011.

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Labour migration rose to 90 lakh over last 5 years: Economic Survey

According to Economic Survey 2016-17, the inter-state migration of workers in India has increased substantially to 90 lakh annually between 2011-16 period compared to the previous years.

The estimate of labour migration in India was based analysis of census data of 2011 and railway passenger traffic in the unreserved category and new methodologies including the Cohort-based Migration Metric (CMM).

Key Facts
  • It is first-ever estimate of internal work-related migration using railways. The inter-state labour mobility average was between 50–65 lakh people in the 2001-2011 period.
  • Migration for work and education is accelerating. The acceleration of migration was particularly high for women and increased at nearly twice the rate of male migration in the 2000s
  • The patterns of migration observed conform that less affluent states and districts evince higher out-migration and rich metropolises attract large inward flows of labour.
  • The largest recipient of migrant workers was the Delhi region, which accounted for more than half of migration in 2015-16, while Uttar Pradesh and Bihar together accounted for half of total out-migrants.
  • Over time, there has been a shift towards the southern states, reflecting the opening up of new migration corridors in recent years.
  • Policy actions to sustain and maximize the benefits of migration include ensuring portability of food security benefits, healthcare and basic social security framework through an inter-state self-registration process.

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