Assistance for Labor Migrants
For many Russians, the words “labor migrant” instantly evoke a stereotype: a swarthy man in an orange uniform who is sweeping the street, or scraping dirt with a shovel, or laying down a fresh layer of asphalt. The Russian city dwellers often think of labor migrants with contempt, forgetting why these people have to reside in an alien country and work the hardest jobs there are.
Russia is a vast country with a growing economy—citizens from the neighboring states come here looking for a way to support their families, as job opportunities at home dwindle. As the demographic situation in Russia worsens, labor migrants become an integral part of the community in some regions. Yet labor migrants enjoy very few rights—many of them do not even realize they have any! Some employers in Russia take advantage of migrants’ vulnerability, exploiting them mercilessly and treating them like slaves.
Labor migrants are one of the most vulnerable and widely discriminated-against social groups in Russia. They need help from civil rights organizations—and we have been providing help since 2007.
Our legal exerts and social service workers provide free consultations to labor migrants on their rights, ways to protect their interests, and Russian employment regulations. Our attorneys defend migrants’ interests in legal conflicts with employers who refuse to pay. We often have to involve law enforcement and administrative authorities in our fight to protect migrants’ rights.
We work to attract public attention to the difficult situation of labor migrants in Russia. We hope to see it improve in the future.