Freedom of Association
The ability to form and join trade unions is a fundamental human right, and trade unions can play a vital role in representing and supporting migrant workers. However unions face varying restrictions in law and in practice, that prevent them from playing this role and it can be more difficult for migrant workers to access the same levels of trade union protection as nationals. This is an analysis of the degree to which governments provide space for trade unions to play an active role in migrant worker protection, and how this affects worker outcomes. The ILO Guiding Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment stress the need for worker organisations and “social partners” (which includes unions) to participate in all key regulatory processes, and for bilateral agreements to respect existing collective agreements.