Police initiate steps to ensure migrant workers’ welfare

Focus on preventing crime in labour camps

The Kerala Police were reportedly concerned that the recent violence in the KITEX factory at Kizhakambalam in Ernakulam had helped fuel a perception that migrant workers posed a threat to public peace.

They fear that the biased view could spark law and order issues, at least in specific neighbourhoods.

Social media networks were replete with posts demonising migrant labourers as troublemakers. A vast majority of the workers were poor and lived on construction sites and crowded dormitories.

An official said migrant workers often lived on the margins of society and below the authorities’ radar. Many survived on low wages. They had limited access to public health care and were vulnerable to exploitation. Migrant labourers were also easy prey for local gangs.

A top-level police meeting chaired by State Police Chief Anil Kant has reportedly taken a serious view of the situation.

It prompted Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Vijay Sakhare, to order District Police Chiefs (DPCs) to prevent a recurrence of the kind of violence that flared up between two groups of migrant labourers on KITEX premises.

SHOs’ role

Mr. Sakhare tasked station house officers (SHOs) to visit migrant camps and introduce elements of community policing. SHOs should encourage workers to elect a representative from among their midst to regularly liaison with the local station.

The police should share helpline numbers and mobile phones of SHOs with migrant workers. Law enforcers should not let issues in labour camps fester and erupt into violence.

Mr. Sakhare also sought an action taken report from SHOs. The information should have the name and place of the labour camp and the date of the visit of the SHO, including other specifics.

The police have also tasked plainclothes squads to clamp down the inflow of drugs and contraband liquor into migrant labour camps.


Law enforcers should liaison with labour contractors and employers to ensure that migrant workers were adequately compensated and their welfare ensured.

The police should establish a line of communication with migrant worker communities. They should encourage workers to report on criminally inclined persons in their midst. The police should provide a sense of security for outside State workers.

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