- 2005 National Black Members' Conference
- 19 September 2004
This Black Members’ Conference notes the Government’s programme of managed migration and acknowledges that there is a need to open a proper debate about the demand for migration workers. If the UK is to sustain its place as the world’s fourth largest economy then migration is needed.
Conference believes that as well as accepting the benefits from migration, Britain needs to protect migrant workers from exploitation and ensure that their rights are enforced. However, currently the recruitment of migrant workers is an unregulated area and this lack of protection is a pull factor – a magnet for exploitation that is driving people trafficking. Evidence shows that migrant workers are being used to undermine organised labour and depress wages.
Conference believes that extending protection afforded to migrant workers and regulating the international recruitment market should remove some of the unsavoury elements of human trafficking and end the perception of migrants as a third tier in the labour force.
Conference therefore calls on the NBMC to work with the NEC and the International Committee to campaign for:
1.a review of the current work permit system which places power in the
hands of employers rather than migrant workers, with a view to replacing
it with a green card scheme;
2.ratification of the UN Convention on Migrant Workers and their Families
which so far has not been ratified by any European Union country;
3.a system in which migrant workers have rights over their passports;
4.regulation of recruitment agencies at national and international level to
ensure that trafficking and exploitation is curtailed; and
5.effective legal sanctions against unscrupulous employers who exploit the
rules rather that just focusing on workers who are found to be