More and more people are migrating for work each year, making a vital contribution to wealthy societies and economies. Yet migrant workers continue to face exploitation and discrimination in the countries that host them.

Our research and advocacy focuses particularly on the pernicious impacts of temporary labour migration schemes in Europe and the Middle East and issues relating to migrant worker health, notably deaths and injuries linked to heat.

In the Five Corridors Project, a major piece of comparative research, we urge governments of destination states, that rely on migrant workers, to take more concerted action on tied visa systems, discriminatory laws and policies, and exploitative recruitment, which critically undermine rights protections. We have worked extensively on these issues in the Gulf states, including in Qatar where we campaigned for remedy for workers impacted by the 2022 World Cup. In the UK, where we are part of the Seasonal Worker Interest Group, we have expressed concerns about the design and implementation of the British government’s scheme to recruit migrant agricultural workers. 

Leading the Vital Signs Partnership, we have examined the health and mortality of South Asian migrant workers in Gulf states. In a series of reports, the partnership has examined key trends related to the deaths of migrant workers in the GCC: the lack of data on migrant worker mortality; the link between access to health and worker deaths; and the impact of extreme and rising temperatures on health and mortality. In 2023, a FairSquare investigation found that migrant construction workers on Dubai’s COP28 site were put to work outdoors in extreme heat that posed very serious threats to their health and could be fatal.