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Labour Exploitation, Trafficking and Migrant Health

Labour Exploitation, Trafficking and Migrant Health: Multi-country Findings on the Health Risks and Consequences of Migrant and Trafficked Workers

International Organization for Migration

There are an estimated 232 million international migrants and 740 million internal migrants worldwide, most of whom are in search of work. Global assessments also suggest that a substantial proportion of labour migrants ends up in situations of extreme exploitation, sometimes formally identified as victims of human trafficking. However, despite the numerous occupations in which extreme exploitation has been found to occur, health research has been limited, with most research focused on the health of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation. As greater attention turns to people who have been exploited in labour sectors, it is necessary to understand the range of occupational health and safety risks and hazardous working and living conditions of workers exploited in specific sectors.

Moreover, because large numbers of migrant workers fall into a “grey area” along a spectrum encompassing varying degrees and types of exploitation, including human trafficking (as defined by international and national law), there is good reason to explore the differences and similarities between the health needs of those who have been identified as trafficked compared to other migrants working in the same labour sector who have not.

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