R100 - Protection of Migrant Workers (Underdeveloped Countries) Recommendation, 1955 (No. 100)


The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Thirty-eighth Session on 1 June 1955, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals concerning the protection of migrant workers in underdeveloped countries and territories, which is the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,

adopts this twenty-second day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-five, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Protection of Migrant Workers (Underdeveloped Countries) Recommendation, 1955:

I. Definitions and Scope
  1. 1. This Recommendation applies to--
    • (a) countries and territories in which the evolution from a subsistence form of economy towards more advanced forms of economy, based on wage earning and entailing sporadic and scattered development of industrial and agricultural centres, brings with it appreciable migratory movements of workers and sometimes their families;
    • (b) countries and territories through which such migratory movements of workers pass on their outward and, where applicable, their return journeys, if existing arrangements in such countries and territories, taken as a whole, afford less protection to the persons concerned during their journeys than is laid down in this Recommendation;
    • (c) countries and territories of destination of such migratory movements of workers, if existing arrangements in such countries and territories, taken as a whole, afford less protection to the persons concerned during their journeys or employment than is laid down in this Recommendation.
  2. 2. For the purposes of this Recommendation, the term migrant worker means any worker participating in such migratory movements either within the countries and territories described in clause (a) of Paragraph 1 above or from such countries and territories into or through the countries and territories described in clauses (b) and (c) of Paragraph 1 above, whether he has taken up employment, is moving in search of employment or is going to arranged employment, and irrespective of whether he has accepted an offer of employment or entered into a contract. Where applicable, the term migrant worker also means any worker returning temporarily or finally during or at the end of such employment.
  3. 3. Nothing in this Recommendation should be construed as giving any person a right to move into or remain in any country or territory except in accordance with the immigration or other laws of that country or territory.
  4. 4. The provisions of this Recommendation are without prejudice to any provision or practice, existing by virtue of law, custom or agreement, which provides for migrant workers conditions more favourable than those provided in this Recommendation.
  5. 5. Any discrimination against migrant workers should be eliminated.
II. Protection of Migrant Workers and Their Families during Their Outward and Return Journeys and Prior to the Period of Their Employment
  1. 6
    • (1) Arrangements should be made by means of national or local laws or regulations, agreement between governments or any other means, with a view to providing protection for migrant workers and their families during the journey between their point of departure and their place of employment, both in the interests of the migrants themselves and in the interests of the countries or areas whence they come, in which they move about and to which they are making their way.
    • (2) These arrangements should include--
  • (a) making available mechanised means of transport, including public passenger transport, for the migrant workers and their families, where that is physically possible; and
  • (b) providing, at suitable stages along the routes, rest camps where lodging, food, water and essential first aid may be furnished.
  1. 7. All necessary steps should be taken to enable migrant workers to make their journeys in reasonable conditions either--
    • (a) in the case of recruited or engaged workers, by providing, in the regulations relating to recruitment or to contracts of employment, an obligation on the recruiter, or failing him the employer, to pay the travelling expenses of the workers and, where applicable, of their families; or
    • (b) in the case of workers journeying without having entered into a contract or accepted an offer of definite employment, by making provision for reducing travelling expenses to a minimum.
  2. 8
    • (1) Arrangements should be made for free medical examination of migrant workers on departure for or commencement of employment, and on completion of employment.
    • (2) Where lack of medical staff in particular regions makes it impossible to submit all migrant workers to this double medical examination, priority should be given to--
  • (a) migrant workers coming from regions where there are communicable or endemic diseases;
  • (b) migrant workers who accept or who have been in employment involving special physical risks; and
  • (c) migrant workers whose journeys are undertaken in accordance with special arrangements for recruitment or engagement.
  1. 9
    • (1) If the competent authority considers, after consultation with employers' and workers' organisations where both exist, that a period of acclimatisation is necessary in the interest of the health of migrant workers, it should take steps to ensure to them, and particularly to those recruited or bound by a contract, such a period of acclimatisation immediately before commencing their employment.
    • (2) In making its decision as to the need for a period of acclimatisation the competent authority should take account of the climate, the altitude and the different conditions of life in which the migrant workers may be called upon to work. Where it considers a period of acclimatisation to be necessary it should fix the length thereof according to local circumstances.
    • (3) During the acclimatisation period, the employer should bear the expense of the adequate maintenance of the migrant worker and of the members of his family authorised to accompany him.
  2. 10. Arrangements should be made to ensure to migrant workers and, where applicable, to their families the right to repatriation, during a period to be determined by the competent authority, after consultation with employers' and workers' organisations where both exist, in the following circumstances
    • (a) where the migrant worker has been recruited or has been sent forward to the place of engagement by the recruiter or the employer, his repatriation should be to the place where he was engaged or from which he was sent forward for engagement and at the expense of the recruiter or the employer in all cases where--
      • (i) the worker becomes incapacitated by sickness or accident during the journey to the place of employment;
      • (ii) the worker is found on medical examination to be unfit for employment;
      • (iii) the worker, for a reason for which he is not responsible, is not engaged after having been sent forward for engagement;
      • (iv) the competent authority finds...

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