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Migrant Workers and Health—The Role of Business

January 13, 2012
  • BSR spark

    BSR Staff

Migrant worker health is increasingly important for companies following the UN's endorsement of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the identification of migrant workers as a group specifically requiring protection related to health. Business is expected to adopt or establish standards and procedures to support the protection of individuals belonging to specific groups, including migrant workers. Among these principles, Principle 121 states, with respect to the International Bill of Human Rights, additional standards for vulnerable groups, such as migrant workers and their families, should be considered to prevent adverse human rights impacts.

As health is recognized as a human right, and with migrant workers now identified as a specific group of individuals requiring protection, business should adopt and establish standards or specific procedures to promote and protect migrant worker health. Migrant workers face unique health risks that require solutions beyond the realm of traditional occupational health and safety. This paper identifies health issues at each phase of the migration process: pre-departure and transit, post-arrival/on-boarding, integration, and return.

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