A pamphlet entitled "Know Your Rights" aiming to sensitise migrant workers of their rights, was launched on 23 March 2019, at Princes Tuna in Riche Terre, by the Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms, Mr Maneesh Gobin in presence of the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, Employment and Training, Mr Soodesh Callichurn, and other personalities.
In his address, Minister Gobin recalled that he presented the project "Know Your Rights" pamphlet at the third Universal Periodic Review of Mauritius, in November 2018, at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, where he reaffirmed Government's commitment and continued support to the work of the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.
Speaking about the pamphlet, he underlined that it aims to thoroughly inform migrant workers working in the secondary economic activities sector of their rights, the possible remedial actions to be taken in case of violations and also to sensitise them about the dangers of human trafficking. Some 40 000 pamphlets printed in different languages namely English, Bangla, Hindi, Mandarin, Tamil and French will be distributed to the economic industries employing migrant workers, he said.
For his part, Minister Callichurn acknowledged the importance of migration as a means of development both through remittances and skills acquisition abroad. Presently there are around 42 800 migrant workers, hailing from India, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Madagascar, who are mainly employed in the textile industry, the construction sector and in the services sector, he indicated.
Furthermore, he outlined some of the measures being implemented by his Ministry to develop a more efficient labour market management system which includes bilateral agreements and Memorandum of Understanding to improve the governance of labour migration with authorities of India, Nepal and Madagascar. He added that provisions are being made so that legislations are translated into the different languages used migrant workers, namely Bangladeshi, Mandarin and Malagasy so as to facilitate understanding of labour legislations.
As regards the pamphlet, Minister Callichurn highlighted that it includes guidelines to inform workers about their rights during the period before and after arriving in the country. It lists out their rights and obligations while on duty, gives specific instructions on how to approach labour disputes given that the Government of Mauritius stands fully committed to end forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, he said.
The pamphlet has been prepared by the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Institutional Reforms in collaboration with various stakeholders and the financial assistance of the British High Commission.