Report for Anti-Slavery International on Access to Remedy for Migrant Workers

The problem

Migrant workers play an important role in global economies by providing vital labour workforce in destination countries, they often face specific and heightened challenges compared to other workers when accessing remedies. These challenges can include both inherent vulnerabilities – including due to cultural and language barriers – as well as external barriers, such as laws and remedy mechanisms that are on occasion designed to exclude migrants.


GRC provided research regarding different models of type of grievance mechanisms including trade union-based models, worker-driven avenues for remedy, civil society organisations-led grievance mechanisms, company-led operational grievance mechanisms and industry-led initiatives. For each of these models, strengths and weaknesses were identified and analysed, with a view to migrant workers’ specific vulnerabilities and the challenges faced when accessing remedy in destination countries. Recommendations for all stakeholders, as well as specifically for companies, states, trade unions, civil society, and trade associations were included to signpost practical steps that can be undertaken. Recommendations can be found in the business briefing available here.

How we tackled this

In 2020-2021, GRC was engaged by Anti-Slavery International (ASI) to conduct research, in collaboration with C–Lever, on the role of governments, businesses, employers and trade unions to improve migrant workers’ access to remedy. Key findings and recommendations were the result of in-depth research as well as months of consultations with a variety of stakeholders – NGOs, civil society, trade unions, and multinational companies – to gather information on grievance mechanisms and their suitability in providing effective access to remedy for migrant workers. GRC undertook 36 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders from a range of businesses, trade associations, civil society organisations and trade unions.

At a glance

Anti-Slavery International
Partner C-lever
Sector Labour rights
Services Advisory services, Workers’ rights
Country Worldwide
Duration 2 years
Years 2020-2021