Work Abroad

Recommendations for migrant workers

In this article we have collected recommendations that you can use to prevent unpleasant situations during your stay in another country or in the process of registration of documents for departure.

In order to understand the conditions of employment and prevent violation of the employment agreement, the migrant worker must:

  • Do not sign any documents if he does not understand the language in which they are written.
  • Do not sign other agreements in the country of destination if it has already signed an agreement in the country of origin.
  • Do not sign any documents if he does not agree with what is written there.
  • Apply to the Embassy of your country or get legal assistance if the employer forces you to sign any document.
  • Make sure that the contract clearly formulated working conditions.
  • This applies to all aspects, in particular, remuneration, working hours, holidays, accommodation, health insurance, and repatriation liability.
  • Insist on a transparent payment scheme if the employer claims that the migrant worker owes him money. It is necessary to seek legal assistance if the employer’s requirements are unfounded.
  • Make sure that the agreement clearly States the duties of the employee. The employer has no right to require the employee to perform additional duties or to work for another employer.
  • Make sure you have your own signed copy of the agreement.
  • Do not sign documents for a salary that a person has not received.
  • Insist on a monthly salary. Delayed payment of wages are invalid.

To avoid human rights violations, migrant workers may:

  • To protest against any verbal, psychological or physical abuse. If they have been abused, this should be reported to the Embassy, police or other law enforcement agencies. If they have been physically abused, they should immediately contact the police or the Embassy. In the latter case, they should require a medical examination and obtain a copy of the medical certificate.
  • Register at the Embassy after arrival and provide the full name and address of the employer.
  • Always remember the name and address of the employer to contact him in case of violations of their rights by others.
  • Make sure you have a passport and other identity documents, and never give these documents to other people.
  • Always have copies of all necessary documents and keep such a copy with friends or relatives in the country of origin.
  • Know where to go for help. In most countries, there are organizations that can support migrants.
  • Never agree to the restriction of freedom of movement.
  • Never agree to the confiscation of the passport for any reason.
  • Avoid situations where it is impossible to change jobs in which the rights of a migrant worker are violated by demanding payment of debts to the employer, agent or intermediary (“debt bondage”).
  • Never agree to inhuman working or living conditions.
  • Never accept unreasonable health and safety risks.

Even if migrants implement these recommendations, there is a significant risk that they may be subject to discrimination, exploitation, and violence, especially when working in low social status or when regulation is inadequate.

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