Jammu and Kashmir: You may have heard about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to work in the construction industry.
If you’re not from the state, you may be shocked to know that a significant number of Kashmiris are also forced to perform the same job, and many of them are in the IT sector.
The state is the largest in India with an estimated population of around 10.3 million, but the situation is not that different from any other state in the country.
However, for the young and ambitious, Kashmir is the place to go to start your career in the industry.
This article is part of our series on Kashmir and Kashmiri workers.
Kashmiri labour camps and migrant workersThe construction industry has many problems, including the fact that most Kashmiris, who have migrated to the state to escape the violence, are in desperate need of employment.
They are often in precarious situations with no job security or safety.
In 2014, the Indian government forced more than 150,000 Kashmiris to migrate to other parts of the country, mostly in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra.
Many were forced into the construction sector and the construction and construction labour markets are also very tough for the Kashmiri labourers.
For many, the prospect of earning money while still in school and training for jobs is not an option.
In many parts of Kashmir, they are even forced to live in temporary accommodation.
The Kashmiri migrants and their families have to live on the streets and in cramped conditions, often without adequate sanitation facilities, clean drinking water or toilets.
There are many reasons why they have been forced to migrate, but there are some common threads.
The government of India, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have made it clear that labour recruitment should be a non-negotiable requirement for Kashmiri employers.
Kashmiris in the mining and quarrying industries are also subjected to violence and intimidation by the security forces, who carry out extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests.
The construction sector is a particularly hazardous job, with the highest rate of workplace injuries.
The majority of Kashmir’s 1.1 million workers, mostly young men and women, are men and most of them migrate to the country to earn money to support their families.
They often work for very few days at a time, without the security and protection of their employers, and often with the help of their families, neighbours and friends.
The problem of migration is not limited to the construction companies, either.
For the Kashmiris who migrate, they work for several other employers in the same industry.
In 2017, more than 2,200 construction labourers migrated from the construction of road, rail and bridge construction in Kashmir to the cities of Hyderabad, Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata and Surat, where they work in hotels, office blocks and factories, according to a 2017 report by the Human Rights Commission of India (HRCI).
For the most part, these migrant workers come from the mining, quarrying, stone quarrying and coal mining industries.
They earn between $400 to $2,000 a month.
Many of them come from rural areas where they do not have any formal education and their work has not been in line with their qualifications.
The lack of formal education has meant that many of these migrant labourers lack the basic skills and experience needed to find a job.
In addition, they do this while their employers are being paid only on the basis of their previous work experience.
They have to rely on the government to provide them with proper training and they are often not provided adequate food and water.
In 2016, the HRW report mentioned that the Government of India has yet to make any attempt to protect migrant workers and the government is failing to ensure the safety of their jobs.
For example, many migrant labourer workers are forced to pay bribes to the Government.
There is no law protecting them, either, as the Indian Supreme Court ruled in the 2017 High Court case.
Many migrant labourerers who migrate to Jammu do not go back to their families and do not return home.
The HRW study noted that the number of migrant laboures migrating to the Indian cities has increased over the past two years.
The Government of Jammu does not have a mechanism to monitor the migrant workers who migrate and who have been identified as having criminal records.
Some of the migrant labouresses are being prosecuted, and there is a high risk of them being tortured and murdered in their return to their home villages.
In the process of migration, the migrant worker does not receive adequate food or shelter and is often forced to spend nights in the fields and in the dark.
Some migrant labours have lost their houses and are being evicted from their homes.
They cannot afford to pay the rent