DELHI: In a significant move aimed at protecting the rights of migrant workers, the government has announced the mandatory implementation of a unique identifier for all building and construction workers nationwide. Labour Secretary Arti Ahuja disclosed that this identifier, intricately linked to Aadhaar and seamlessly integrated into the e-Shram database, is designed to enhance the portability of benefits.

Speaking at “The Migration Conclave,” organized by the All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE) and FICCI, with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) in New Delhi, Secretary Ahuja highlighted the importance of ensuring workers’ entitlements remain accessible regardless of their location.

“The upcoming addendum, anticipated to be released within the next week, will provide further details on these transformative reforms,” Ahuja stated. She addressed the challenges posed by the growing use of unregistered outsourced labor through contractors and emphasized that the four labor codes will require contractors to furnish comprehensive benefits, aligning with the Interstate Migrant Workmen Act.

These benefits include minimum wages, occupational safety, and access to basic amenities such as toilets and worksite creches. Secretary Ahuja also outlined the ministry’s plans to implement measures guaranteeing adequate shelter, sanitation, and awareness of entitlements at these locations.

Highlighting the importance of a tripartite mechanism involving workers’ organizations, Ahuja stressed its significance in addressing the specific concerns of migrant workers within industries.

Satoshi Sasaki, Deputy Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), underscored the significance of labor migration in the current and future labor market. He shed light on the opportunities and challenges faced by migrant workers, exacerbated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on access to decent work.

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