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Rural Migration Blog

July 2022

NAWS 2019-20: Older and Settled Farm Workers

DOL’s National Agricultural Workers Survey interviewed 2,172 non-H-2A crop workers in 2019-20 and found that 44 percent were unauthorized, up from 36 percent in 2017-18 but down from over 50 percent in 1998-2000. Over the past three decades, the share of foreign-born crop workers rose from 60 to 70 percent, the share of settled or non-migrant workers rose from 60 to 85 percent, and the share of unauthorized workers tripled from 15 to 45 percent.

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Codes of Conduct and Labor Law Compliance

Can private codes of conduct substitute for government to ensure compliance with labor laws in supply chains that involve low-wage workers? MIT’s Richard Locke persuaded Nike to allow analysis of the audits conducted in Nike supplier factories, and concluded that private audits and certifications did not ensure continuous supplier compliance with labor laws.

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Labor in Thai Agriculture

Almost 13 million people or 30 percent of Thailand’s 42 million strong labor force are employed in agriculture. Most of those employed in Thai agriculture are self-employed Thai farmers and their unpaid family members, but an increasing share are migrant workers from neighboring Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.

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Migrant Recruitment Costs

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development established 17 goals and created indicators to measure progress to achieve these goals by 2030. Sustainable Development Goal 10 is to reduce inequality within and between countries, and Target 10.7 is to: "facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.”

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