Workshop on migration, gender and social justice begins

The State Government is committed to deepen access of emigrant workers to welfare and social protection. They are crucial to the development model being pursued by the State, according to K.C. Joseph, Minister for Non-resident Affairs.

He said this here while inaugurating a ‘final dissemination’ workshop on migration, gender and social justice. Thursday was the first of the three-day international workshop being hosted by think-tank Centre for Development Studies (CDS).

The government is aware of the problems faced by emigrant workers and their welfare and protection have to be ensured, the Minister said, adding that he would like to use findings from CDS research to influence the State and national policymaking process.

Joseph released the book ‘Diaspora in Kerala’s Development’ authored by K.C. Zachariah and S. Irudaya Rajan. He presented it to Ranjana Kale, Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

The book is based on findings from the Kerala Migration Survey 2007. Kale spoke of the close relationship of CDS with the Union Ministry and their joint focus on migration processes and dynamics.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has a research unit on International Migration housed at CDS. It is a front-runner in analysing socio-economic dimensions of international labour movements.

Leo de Haan, rector, Institute of Social Studies (ISS), spoke on the possibilities of further collaboration with CDS on matters of social and policy relevance.

Ramata Molo Thioune, senior project manager, International Development and Research Centre (IDRC), stressed on the importance of women migrants to global economy.

Panellists for the first session on gender and migration in an age of globalisation included eminent global scholars. Des Gasper of ISS moderated the session.

Ruth Pearson, professor emeritus, Leeds University, spoke of her work with Burmese migrant women in Thailand and the social reproduction of care work and the need to count women’s work.

Thanh-Dam Truong, project coordinator, ISS, highlighted the pressing need to refocus the gender lens in migration studies.

Indu Agnihotri of the Centre for Women’s Development Studies dwelt on challenges and insights from a broad survey of internal migration of women for work within India.

The workshop will synthesise and disseminate findings from diverse research projects funded by IDRC in China, Italy, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Spain and West Asia.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 14, 2013)
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