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India’s forgotten migrant workers need urgent help: UN

Anadolu Agency, India, 5 June 2020 - More than 100 million internal migrant workers in India, who are forced to walk long distances to reach their homes, suffer hardship as the government is indifferent to a Supreme Court order to ensure their well-being, said experts from the United Nations on Thursday.

Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to housing, and Balakrishnan Rajagopal, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty, said they are appalled at the disregard shown by the Indian Government towards internal migrant laborers, especially those who belong to marginalized minorities and lower castes.

"Instead of ensuring the protection of their rights, the Government has failed to address their dire humanitarian situation and further exacerbated their vulnerability with police brutality and by failing to stop their stigmatisation as virus carriers," they said.

The experts urged the Indian government to promptly comply with the Supreme Court order to improve the living conditions of internal migrant workers.

"Many are stranded in intolerable conditions, hungry and without shelter after losing their income and being forced to vacate their residences by their landlords,” they said.



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