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Argument: Migrant Workers Convention counters workplace exploitation

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Supporting quotations

"Respect migrants' rights: ratify the migrant workers' convention." Amnesty International. July 2009: "The Migrant Workers' Convention promotes humane and lawful working and living conditions for migrant workers and their families. Ratification of this core human rights instrument is an important step to end abuse and exploitation of migrants."

Ashok Subron. "Migrant workers and their place in our society." LexPress. October 1, 2010: "Employers are asking the government to make it easier to “import” migrant workers, which they consider essential to ensure economic growth. But are the procedures by which these workers arrive on our shores, and the conditions in which they live and work once here not uncomfortably reminiscent of slavery? And why has the government never ratified the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers?

[...] one can easily comprehend that the “new” economic model is nothing more than further entrenchment of the “old” cheap-labour based export- oriented model.

After having locked up the Mauritian economy within a cheap-labour export- oriented model for more than three decades, confronted with the dilemmas of the multi-faceted crisis of global capitalism, the elites are now themselves locked into narrow corporate conservatism. A new economic model based on decent job creation, socially just and ecologically sustainable, is just out of the vision of the economic elites.

Amedée Darga, writing in L’Express Weekly on foreign labour, ought to have termed this lack of vision as a characteristic of the “psychological and corporate conservatism” and “narrow corporatistview” of the elites, instead of applying this kind of characterization to those of the union movement and progressive politics who oppose such corporate conservatism.

From cheap labour to neoslavery. If the cheap labour export- oriented model is no more viable, then the import of foreign cheap labour should be eased, according to the elites. “Make it easier to employ foreigners,” said the representative of the MEF last week. According to him, “these workers help to make companies more profitable…. for they are ready to work extra hours or even double shifts in some cases”. Indeed, foreign workers, mainly in the manufacturing sector, work and live in conditions reminiscent of the slavery and indentured labour period. Like slaves, migrant workers are first captured into the “migrant labour trade” (the new “trait” of global capitalism), to be then overexploited in the neo-slavery model underway in Mauritius. The modern labour tradersensnare people in exchange for lucrative commissions and “deliver” them to Mauritius. And given their vulnerability and precarious conditions, they are ready to work long hours. Should any of the migrants be tested HIV positive, the State, in pure fascistic style, will ensure that immediate deportation follows."

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