Policies for Protection of Indian Migrant Workers in Middle East

  • Seema GaurEmail author


The present chapter highlights the exploitation faced by low-skilled Indian migrants to the Middle East and attempts to enhance the understanding of evolution of the policies and measures undertaken by India for their protection. The chapter revisits a study done by the author on Indian migrant workers based on first-hand data collected in the host country Lebanon during the late 1990s, regarding poor living and working conditions of migrants and their exploitation. The study had brought out the need for the intervention by the government of sending countries to frame effective policies to protect the migrant workers from exploitation and inhuman treatment. Since then, the Indian government has undertaken several measures for protection of low-skilled migrant workers, especially in the Middle East. Drawing upon comprehensive literature review and anecdotal evidence, it has been observed that the exploitation of low-skilled migrant workers, including Indian workers, in the Middle East still continues. Thereafter, comprehensive look is taken at the efforts made to protect migrants’ rights at various levels, including the steps taken by India as a sending country. Detailed analysis is undertaken as to why exploitation continues in spite of extensive proactive measures taken by India to protect the migrant workers. It is found that several factors join together in continuing exploitation of migrant workers in the fiercely competitive labour markets in the Middle East. The chapter concludes with several suggestions, including adoption of pro-migrant policies by sending countries as well as destination countries in order to empower the migrants, to ensure that they do not fall prey to unscrupulous agents at home and are protected in host countries and to harness the migration for the benefit of both sending and destination countries.


Unskilled workers Semi-skilled workers India Middle East International migration 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rural DevelopmentMinistry of Rural Development, Government of IndiaNew DelhiIndia

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