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Home News Migrant jobseekers need to try five times harder

Migrant jobseekers need to try five times harder

Published on 01/04/2010
GENEVA -A migrant worker in Europe has to make up to five times more applications than a local resident before getting a job offer, an International Labour Organization expert said Wednesday.
"A person with an immigrant origin or appearance has to apply four or five as many times to get one positive response in any stage of the application process," said Patrick Taran, a migration expert at the ILO, quoting findings from a survey across 10 European countries.

Underlining that there is a "surprisingly high and generalised level of discrimination" against migrant workers in the countries examined, the expert said that the phenomenon also posed a "serious threat for social cohesion."

He called on countries to put in place independent anti-discrimination watchdogs which could give advice to or help defend victims against such abuses.

Such institutions, coupled with firm legislation could help to improve the lot of migrant workers, he added.

"There is a fundamental policy interest" for greater protection of migrant workers, Taran argued.

Discrimination can push migrant workers towards the informal economy, where they would not contribute to the state through taxes or other social contributions, he pointed out.

The ILO report is based on real experiences of resident and migrant job seekers in France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark.