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TOPIC: labor

Migrant Lives

How Nepal’s “Left-Behind” Children Of Migrants Hold Families Together

Children left to fend for themselves when their parents seek work abroad often suffer emotional struggles and educational setbacks. Now, psychologists are raising alarms about the quiet but building crisis.

BARDIYA — It was the Nepali New Year and the sun was bright and strong. The fields appeared desolate, except the luxuriantly growing green corn. After fetching water from a nearby hand pump, Prakash Jaisi, 18, walked back to the home he shares with his three siblings in Bardiya district’s Banbir area, more than 500 kilometers (over 300 miles) from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. As it was a public holiday in the country, all his friends had gone out to have fun. “I’d like to spend time with my friends, but I don’t have the time,” he says. Instead, Jaisi did the dishes and completed all the pending housework. Even though his exams are approaching, he has not been able to prepare. There is no time.

Jaisi’s parents left for India in December 2021, intending to work in the neighboring country to repay their house loan of 800,000 Nepali rupees (6,089 United States dollars). As they left, the responsibility of the house and his siblings was handed over to Jaisi, who is the oldest.

Just like Jaisi’s parents, 2.2 million people belonging to 1.5 million Nepali households are absent and living abroad. Of these, over 80% are men, according to the 2021 census on population and housing. The reasons for migration include the desire for a better future and financial status.

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The Singular Legacy Of Qatar's World Cup: Dead Migrant Workers

The deaths of migrant worker deaths and Qatar's poor human rights record will linger over the upcoming World Cup. Foreign powers need to intervene to help the situation of those trapped in slavery-like conditions.

When the captain of the winning team lifts the FIFA World Cup trophy above his head in Qatar’s Lusail stadium on Dec. 19, football fans will celebrate another sporting success story. There will be heroes and villains, missed opportunities and glorious goals.

Not celebrating will be the families of the migrant workers — most from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – who died to make the event possible in the first place.

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Malaysian Latex Gloves For Nurses In Canada, Workers' Rights In COVID Times

Revelations of slavery-like conditions for migrant workers in Malaysia manufacturing hospital supplies says much about how worker exploitation has extends across the supply chain through the pandemic.

British labor rights activist Andy Hall had been working for years to defend migrant workers rights in Asia, particularly in Thailand and Myanmar. And when the COVID-19 crisis put unprecedented pressure on the global supply chain, he knew it was a situation ripe for exploitation.

In particular, the pandemic was creating unprecedented demand for personal protective equipment, with governments around the world rushing to secure millions of masks, gowns and gloves which would sometimes be sold to the highest bidder.

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Quiet, Boss! How Portugal Became The World Model For Work-Life Balance

Portugal has become the first place in the world where it is illegal for managers to contact their employees after hours. Will other countries follow suit?

It's 8 p.m. after a long day of work, and you've clicked on your well-earned Netflix show...and "ping," another after-hours phone notification has arrived from your boss. Much of the working world has been there, somewhere between annoying and invasive. But now, in Portugal, it is also illegal.

Last Friday, the Portuguese Parliament approved a pioneering new law barring employers from contacting their staff outside their contracted working hours. The news, which has been hailed around the world by labor rights activists, academics and even television comedians, has largely been framed as a welcome response to the around-the-clock remote working that COVID-19 lockdowns have triggered.

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Carl-Johan Karlsson

COVID-19's Essential Workers Shake Up Minimum Wage Debate

Why are some of society's most crucial employees still fighting to get paid a fair wage?

After the arrival of COVID-19, we started calling them "essential workers," as the pandemic gave long overdue recognition to those driving our buses, sweeping our floors, stocking our supermarket shelves. These are the people formerly known simply as "low-paid workers."

The bitter irony of the effect of the health crisis on the world of work, compounded by the overall disproportionate effect of the virus on poorer communities, has begun to fuel the simmering worldwide debate about minimum wage.

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Roberto Pizarro

Uprising In Ecuador: Lenin Moreno And The Price Of Betrayal

Moreno is now reversing course on austerity measures that provoked nearly two weeks of mass protests. But it may be too little too late to salvage his reputation.


SANTIAGO — A hike in fuel prices proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back in Ecuador. But the root of the problem is President Lenín Moreno's 180-degree shift to the right.

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Rozena Crossman

IPO And Beyond: How Uber Rolled Into Our Lives - A World Tour

Long before Uber's multi-billion-dollar IPO, the ride-hailing app has been shaking the economic and legal foundations of the dozens of countries around the world where it's landed. Not only has it disrupted the transportation sector, but the San Francisco-based digital taxi service has introduced a whole new way for companies to deliver their services and people to seek work — in fact, we call it:uberization.

Present in 65 countries and more than 600 cities, the platform has facilitated more than five billion trips worldwide. Though the impact is indeed global, the arrival of Uber has followed a unique route in each country. By taking a ride through the company in Egypt, Argentina, the UK, the U.S., and France, we examine the effects of the gig economy that will ultimately count much more than the tens of billions that Uber is worth today.

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Jean-Marc Vittori

How To Exit Our Economic Era Of Slow Growth

Will slow growth rates persist in a global dynamic of 'secular stagnation?' Or will the IT revolution set off new bursts of productivity?


PARIS — Has painfully slow economic growth become our fate? A decade after the financial meltdown of 2007-2008, this question hangs over us, even after momentarily fading amid last year's global recovery. But now, the list of concerns is again expanding: Brexit, the Italian budget, monetary tightening in the United States, President Trump's protectionism, financial slides in Turkey and Argentina, German political fragmentation, the Saudis drifting off course, rising radicalism in Brazil and inconsistent economic performance in China.

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Yann Gwet

Why Asia's Industrialization Model Won't Work For Africa

Africa must not be industrialized like the Asian dragons. Instead, the continent must invest in a high-quality educational system to adapt to a new global labor market.

PARIS African governments and development agencies want nothing more than to see the continent industrialize. In the search for ideas about how to make that happen, Asia is an obvious place to look, as Adesina Akinwumi, president of the multilateral African Development Bank (AfDB), pointed out at a conference this summer called "Accelerate Africa's industrialization" hosted in Busan, South Korea.

Akinwumi's is a seductive idea. The development of the dragons of the Far East has indeed been spectacular. The host nation of the latest AfDB gathering is a prime example. In 1962, less than a decade after the devastating war, South Korea had a per capita GNP of roughly $120 (compared to $160 in Liberia), according to the World Bank. By 2016, per capita GDP had risen to $27,690, extreme poverty was completely eradicated, and the unemployment rate stood at just 4.5%.

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Watch: OneShot — Back From The Gulag

He was born three years before Russia's October Revolution, and served in the Red Army during World War II. But in 1945, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was arrested for criticizing Stalin, and spent eight years in a labor camp. The experience reshaped his political opinions and inspired his most famous works, including The Gulag Archipelago (1973). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, but was hounded by the KGB, stripped of his citizenship, and expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. He remained in exile for 20 years, before being allowed back in Russia in 1994 — after the fall of the USSR — where he died ten years ago on this day.

Alexandr Solzhenitsyn — © Bert Verhoeff / Anefo / OneShot

This photo was taken in 1974, during Solzhenitsyn's stay at his friend Heinrich Böll"s home, in Langenbroich, West Germany. He had been deported from the Soviet Union only two days earlier.

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Watch OneShot: Lewis Hine - Child Workers Smoking

Lewis Hine was an American sociologist and photographer, best remembered for his images of immigrants arriving in Ellis Island, and for shining a light on the brutal reality of poor children forced to work. His often disturbing photographs of young workers were considered instrumental in pushing through a series of child labor protection laws in the United States.

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food / travel
Alastair Bland

Seeking New Labor Protection For All The World's Ship Workers

Fair trade doesn’t always mean fair transport, as international shipping leaves a whole category of workers unprotected.

SAN FRANCISCO — The world's mariners are protected by what may be the only minimum wage established across an entire global industry. Now, labor advocates are mobilizing to increase their pay and make consumers more aware of working conditions on the ships that move the goods they use every day.

More than 1.6 million seafarers work on international merchant ships around the world, according to the International Chamber of Shipping. Together, these laborers – mostly men from the Philippines, China, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine – handle about 90% of global trade and also play a role in preventing marine pollution. But they're a largely invisible workforce.

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