As Russia plunges into recession, its vast migrant workforce faces mounting abuse, reveals an important new report from Human Rights Watch.
The fate of millions of migrant workers in Russia is in the lurch as the country reels from the global financial crisis. Even in the best of times, during the recent years of Russia’s major economic boom, migrant workers in Russia have been subject to widespread abuses both in and outside the workplace.
Now, economic crisis, coupled with a growing tide of hate-motivated violence in Russia, puts migrant workers at even greater risk. That is, unless the government takes immediate action to protect workers from abusive employers, employment agencies, and the police.
With over 40 percent of Russia’s migrant workers employed in the construction industry, the fate of this sector is particularly relevant. Russia’s multi-year construction boom, driven by high energy prices, appears to be grinding to a halt, with building projects across the country frozen and workers asked to go home.
Undefended – Russia’s Migrant Workers
Jane Buchanan, 13.03.2009