The seasonality of agricultural manual labour drives rural migration which often comes with a social cost. People are “pulled” into other rural areas during agricultural peak times when demand for labour is strong, whereas during the low season farmers may become temporary migrants to urban areas to take advantage of job opportunities there, often in the informal economy. Migrant workers in agriculture often experience discriminatory treatment on the job and face strong disadvantages in terms of pay, social protection, housing and medical care. When families migrate for agricultural work, it is often only the male head of household who appears on the employer’s payroll, despite the involvement of the spouse and children in the actual work. When parents migrate alone, families are broken up for months at a time with children left in the care of others.

Programme of Action

  • Lack of protection of farmworker migrants in all settings of migration (country-to- country; internal; rural-to-urban; refugees)
  • Address root causes (push-pull factors)
  • Being prevented to practice religious beliefs
  • Abuses 
(specifically sexual and physical) committed against migrants
  • Campaign on labor laws recognizing the rights of seasonal and migrant workers
  • Campaign on protection of farmworker migrants in the sending and receiving countries
  • Change the public perception of immigration as having negative effect on the local economy
  • Support national and local 
movements in organizing efforts that include migrant workers (e.g. consultation)
  • Campaign on the ratification and implementation of
    • International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families
    • CEDAW No. 26 of Women Migrant Workers
    • ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers before the UN meeting in October 2013
    • Convention 175 and 184 (agricultural workers safety).
    • Fishing 
Convention ILO 188 2007 (safety at sea)
  • Research on the Peasant 
Convention to 
draft position
  • Coordinating with global and regional coalitions and networks of migrant workers and women
  • Campaign for respect of 
migrants’ practice 
of religious beliefs
  • Refer abuses and cases to international organizations working on migrants’ rights and welfare
  • Set up directory of global support organizations


Rural Women and Migration
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Rural Women and Migration