Tunisia: Union fights for better protection of migrant workers

April 22nd 2019

On April 4, the Union of Labor Inspectors called Tunisia's Minister of Social Affairs, Mohamed Trabelsi, to enact laws protecting migrant workers in Tunisia against exploitation and forced labor.

While the Tunisian labor market – in particular the construction and agriculture sectors – employ more and more migrant workers, the Union denounced "increased inhuman and discriminatory treatment".

The Union has called on the minister to promote a basic human rights approach and adhere to international conventions to protect migrant workers against all forms of exploitation and discrimination. The Union has also requested the application of Article 260 of the Labor Code and the strengthening of the inspection role.

This call was made public by the  Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT). Following the death of two foreign workers in their workplace, the UGTT, last February, published a statement calling for the formalization of migrant workers. Moreover, the UGTT called for intensifying controls by the Labor Inspectorate. It also pleaded to develop the legal environment to guarantee the rights of migrant workers in Tunisia and ensure their integration into the economic fabric, particularly in sectors with a shortage of labor.

Committed to combating the exploitation of migrant workers in Tunisia, the UGTT has also created four points of contact in the cities of Tunis, Sfax, Sousse and Medenine in order to offer regular and irregular migrant workers legal aid in case of abuse.