Globe, Struggles, Trade Unions, United Kingdom, Workers

Guidelines for undocumented migrant workers

What can an undocumented worker do when they suffer from workplace bullying? Is an immigrant who works even though they do not have the right entitled to a defence?An online guide gives us the main ways to deal with abuse for those who find themselves in this position.


Guia_PICUMWorkplace exploitation and abuse from employers is a universal and widespread reality which it is difficult to deal with.

In Europe, the situation becomes even more serious when it comes to undocumented workers who accept lower salaries, dangerous working conditions and extended hours simply because they want to formalise their situation in a foreign country.

Although unofficial estimates do exist, it is not possible to know the exact number of illegal immigrants living in the United Kingdom.

It is estimated that there are around 650,000 people living illegally in the country, meaning that it is even more difficult to determine how many people are working without papers.

Despite the unclear figures, the efforts being made to help undocumented workers are ceaseless. This is why the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants  ­–PICUM–  has developed a series of guidelines which have the aim of defending against the abuse of these workers.

The new “Guidelines for developing an effective complaints mechanism in cases of labour exploitation or abuse” are intended to ensure access to justice for these immigrants.

Zapatos trabajo pixabayThey are currently available in English, Czech, Dutch and German . The guidelines explain, amongst other things, that the personal information of any workers will not be shared with the labour or immigration authorities creating a wall which prevents it from being disclosed.

“Governments deal with the impunity of the exploitative workers rather than preventing workers from reporting exploitation and getting the justice simply because they do not have residency”, said the director of PICUM Michele LeVoy. “This hurts individuals and their families and lowers labour standards for all”, he added.

The published guidelines which aim to defend undocumented workers can be downloaded for free here.

(Photos: Picumy –  Pixabay)


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