Draft National Migrant Labour Policy

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) recently published its draft national policy on migrant labours.


  • The policy was prepared in association with the working subgroup of officials and members of civil society.
  • This draft policy is inspired by the rights-based approach which gain momentum during the return migration of around 10 million migrant workers from cities to their respective village during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Facts regarding draft national migrant labour policy

  • The draft migrant workers policy describes two approaches regarding the policy design.
  1. The first approach focusses on cash transfers, special quotas, and reservations for the labours.
  2. The other approach seeks to enhance the agency and capability of community. Thus, in turn removes any of the aspects coming in the way of natural ability of the individual to prosper.
  • The policy further rejects the handout approach and opts for a rights-based framework.
  • Policy also seeks to remove the restrictions on true agency and potential of the migrant workers.
  • The policy was formulated with the goal of “not providing any temporary or permanent economic aids as well as the social aids”.
  • The policy further maintains that, “Internal Migration should be considered as an integral part of the development and government’s policies should be formulated in such a way that it facilitates the migration”.

What was the need of new policy?

This draft policy was formulated in the light of flaws in the existing laws. A report of 2017 also stated that the migrant workers should be integrated with all other workers so as to overarch the exploitation of workers by contractors. Further, in India the size of the unorganised sector is huge so a comprehensive policy was required to provide them a social protection.




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