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Migrant Rights and The Arab Spring

On October 29, 2011

With the Arab Spring's first post-revolutionary election tallied only days ago, it's difficult to gauge the impact these new governments will have on migrant rights. But, we can assess the movement's affect on foreign workers up to this point, as well as measure the inclusiveness of its human rights rhetoric. In These Times labor blogger Michelle Chen analyzes the Spring's prospectives and limitations, with brief input from Read her comprehensive report here.

Chen's article notes the substancial obstacles to migrants' progress, as well as on-going mistreatment. However, we can be cautiously optimistic that at the least, conditions are more favorable to migrant rights than they have ever been before; if new institutions are more responsive to civil society, then there is certainly opportunity for homegrown organizations to develop and lobby legislatures for fair foreign labor practices. Democratically elected regimes may also hold international law in higher regard and act more responsively to IGOs and NGOS such as the ILO and HRW, both of which advocate legal safeguards on behalf of migrant workers.

But only time and tangible change on the ground will tell. will closely monitor the status of migrants as these new governments develop.