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Laws amended to avoid harassment abroad

Emigration laws are being amended to protect Indian workers from exploitation, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 22:20 IST

Emigration laws are being amended to protect Indian workers from exploitation and harassment abroad, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, Vayalar Ravi, said on Tuesday.

Ravi told the Economic Editors’ Conference that the proposed amendments to the 1983 Emigration Act seek to fix roles and responsibilities of both the centre and state governments, Indian missions, the Protector General of Emigrants and recruiting agencies in this regard.

Most of the complaints received by the Ministry relate to substitution of contracts, underpayment or delayed payment wages, and denial of contractual facilities to workers by their foreign employers are common. Complaints about misuse of the emigration check required status for seeking employment abroad are also received.

He said plans were also being made to protect women workers' from harassment by their employers abroad. India, he said, also seeks to have social security agreements with EU countries and the United States. "We have recently signed a social security (pact) with Belgium. We intend to finalise similar agreements with other EU countries,’’ he said.

Ravi announced a new series of labour awards to recongnise and honour the contribution of Indian workers abroad. These awards would be presented during the 5th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2007, which is to be held in the Capital between January 7 and January 9.

Email: sutirthopatranobis@hindustantimes.com