Moving from Principle to Practice

JustJobs Network Annual Publication

In this chapter, part of the volume titled People on the Move: Advancing the Discourse on Migration & Jobs, we investigate the phenomenon of work-related migration and find that while expected wage differentials between the rural and urban can be an incentive for movement, this potential migration is hindered by the loss of social protection, the architecture of which is often tied to location and not portable. While wages are a challenging area for governments to intervene, we argue that greater attention to social protection could offer a supportive mechanism for rural-urban migrants and improve their access to urban work. Such access to social protection could reduce migration costs and affect pro-work migration choices – for example, favoring longer-term migration over short-term and seasonal movements. Further, we argue that there are particular opportunities in the current architecture of social protection that can be tapped with relative ease – for example, in reaching out to the large body of migrant construction workers.