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NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.


National Seminar on Labour Migration

Invitation and Call for Papers

Labour Migration in the Post Liberalization Era (1991)

A Two Day National Seminar
Jointly organized by
Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
and Indian Social Institute, Delhi


Dates: 18th & 19th August, 2018

Venue: Indian Social Institute
10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003



The introduction of the New Economic Policy in 1991 of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization [LPG] has accelerated un-regularized migration in India. A development model centering mega cities, neglect of countryside, burial of issues of social equity and social justice, and widening of the gap between the rich and the poor led to large scale distress migration in the country. It has precipitated an agrarian crisis which is characterized by forced failure of agricultural activities, indebtedness due to loans taken and mass farmer suicides. These features have resulted in marginal peasants abandoning agriculture, landless workers remaining unemployed and an exodus of these people to other parts of the country for survival. Such distress migration is primarily a survival strategy, a movement from a state of starvation to subsistence.

According to estimates, internal migrants in India are above 450 million; inter-state migrants are above 45 million; seasonal migrants are between 10 t0 30 million adults every year; and circular migrants are above 100 million. The Economic Survey of India (2016-17) estimates annual labour mobility in India to be 5-9 million and inter-state migrant population to be around 60 million. Further, there are 5-6 million Indians migrating from state-to-state each year and 4.5 per cent is the annual growth of inter-state migration.

The internal distress migrants in India are excluded from the economic, cultural, social and political life and are often treated as strangers and second-class citizens. They are looked down as ‘outsiders’ by the local population as well as host administration, and are portrayed reductively by the local media. Their right to the city is often denied on the political defense of the “sons of the soil” theory. Two major sources or processes of exclusion of internal migrants in India are (a) the discrimination against the poor and the underprivileged in urban planning and (b) the categorization of the internal migrants as the ‘other’ by the host population.

The internal distress migrant workers are subjected to several vulnerabilities in India. They are forced to live and work in extremely difficult and dangerous conditions. They are very vulnerable as they are on the margins of Indian society both economically and socially, and face risks because of non-recognition at the policy level and faulty implementation of laws. Nearly all sectors employ migrant workers through a complex system of contractors and agents who are well-positioned to exploit these vulnerable distress migrants.

Suggested Topics:

  1. New Economic Policy and its impact on  employment and migrant labour
  2. Predicament of migrant workers in construction labour, daily wage labour and domestic labour
  3. Cultural implications of displacement on migrant women and children.
  4. Social Inclusion and Alienation of Migrant Workers in terms of their Entitlements.
  5. Vulnerabilities of Inter-State Migrants in India
  6. The Political Economy of Distress Migrant Labour.
  7. Urban Space for Migrant Workers
  8. Shift from Agrarian Economy to a Capitalistic Economy and its Implications for Labour
  9. Victimization of Migrant Women Workers in Urban Space (e.g. human trafficking, bonded labour, etc.)
  10. The Efficacy of Labour  Laws on Migrant Workers

Submission of Abstracts [200-300 words] by 25 June 2018
Notification of selected Abstracts by 10 July 2018
Submission of Full Paper [4000-5000 words] by 25 July 2018


  • Certificates will be given to all the paper presenters
  • 3 AC Train travel expenses will be reimbursed only for outstation paper presenters.
  • Food and Accommodation will be provided free of cost
  • Guidelines for Full Paper submission will be communicated on selection of Abstracts
  • Presentation could be made with the help of PPT

The Abstracts and later on the full Papers are to be sent to the persons mentioned below. For more queries and clarification you may contact them.

  1. Ms. Felcy Rani,
    Secretary to the Executive Director, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi.
    E-mail: edoffice@isidelhi.org.in, Tel:  (011) 49534125/126
  2. Fr. Martin Puthussery, SJ
    Head, Labour & Migration Unit, Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
    Email: martinputhussery@gmail.com, Mob. 7259678750





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