In developing countries, internal migration is a survival strategy for many labourers in search of a better livelihood and opportunities. Every year, India loses an average of 2,658 people to different kinds of structural collapses; that is around 7 deaths a day. 2011 saw the highest fatalities in ten years, 3161 deaths.
The stakeholders involved in this issue are the migrants, builders, owners, government authorities and society as a whole.
Can such incidences, where most of the times poor people are the victims, be prevented? How?
To avoid such incidences, there needs to be accountability placed on multiple stakeholders. The government authorities granting the permission for the building need to strictly adhere to the rules, act according to professional code of conduct and not violating them for bribes. The builders and owners need to be given strict punishment and buildings be sealed if they violate the rules and try to construct extra floors. Rights of human life and dignity should not be neglected and the nexus among powerful people who think they can get away with such instances need to be checked. Workers need to be made aware of their rights and duties so that any illegal methods of construction can be reported.
Discuss the ethical issues involved in such incidences:
Here the issue is not that of insufficient regulatory systems or safety standards, but that of non-compliance. Frequent regularisation of unauthorised constructions have emboldened violators and eroded the compliance culture. Lack of transparency in approval processes, discretionary exemptions, and slack inspections have put the interests of many apartment-buyers in peril. Rights of life of the poor workers are neglected. Lack of responsibility by builders and owners who are not being utilitarian but selfish. It also highlights the lack of empathy on the part of society towards the migrants.
Examine the issues faced by migrant workers in cities:
- Social and psychological challenges such as the stigma associated with menial labour, social exclusion, and xenophobia are faced by migrant workers
- Being away from their families for prolonged periods also affects the psychosocial wellbeing of these migrant workers, leading to stress and depression.
- Ensuring health as a human right
- Access to health care facilities and services remains a major concern for migrant workers
- Female migrant labourers face several important gender-based problems, including gender-based discrimination at work and violence. Several women are subjected to physical, verbal and sexual abuse at the workplace and their place of residence.
- Emerging research shows that intimate partner violence is higher among migrant women than other women.
- Equity and avoiding disparities
- Migrant labourers are at a significant disadvantage in the community into which they have migrated. They are in unfamiliar territory amidst strangers. In addition, they are discriminated against by the members of society, who feel that they “belong to another culture”. As a result of these factors, migrant labourers may be deprived of access to healthcare facilities and services.
- Balance of risks and benefits
- Migrant labourers are employed in jobs which the local people prefer to shun. An analysis shows that migrant workers most often take up jobs in the construction industry, with its inherent risks of accidents, injuries, crashes and falls; commercial sex work, associated with a high risk of sexually transmitted diseases; and brick kilns, in which they face the risk of burn injuries.
- Lack of basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation problems etc
- Child labour might increase and also misuse of children in begging and other social crimes.
With the increasing quantum of migration within the country, there is a need to provide effective healthcare and other basic services to migrant workers will assume greater proportions over the years.