Migrant Worker Justice Initiative

The Migrant Worker Justice Initiative is a joint initiative between academics at UNSW Sydney and UTS, Australia. The MWJI is an applied research initiative that catalyses improved enforcement of rights and just remedies for migrant workers globally. It draws on rigorous analysis of migrant workers’ experiences across multiple regions to provide governments, business and civil society with pragmatic new pathways for reform. The MWJI’s detailed empirical research provides a deep understanding of the structural and practical hurdles that prevent migrant workers accessing redress for exploitation and forced labour, both at home and abroad. It engages with migrant worker advocates, unions, business and government regulators locally and globally to overcome these hurdles and develop regulatory, policy and service frameworks that enable just remedies.

The MWJI has undertaken pioneering studies that identify barriers to justice for Nepali migrant workers in the Gulf states, along with other jurisdictions in the global south and the global north. The MWJI has also undertaken the first global study of technology designed to assist migrant workers to articulate and report problems within supply chains, evaluate experiences with particular recruiters and employers, and make verifiable payments for recruitment services, among other advances.

The MWJI’s co-directors, Laurie Berg and Bassina Farbenblum, are global experts on labour migration and migrant workers’ access to justice. Bassina is Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law and Director its Human Rights Clinic. Laurie is Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney.