International Migrant Workers in the Mining Sector
Mylène CODERRE-PROULX, Bonnie CAMPBELL and Issiaka MANDÉ
International Labour Organization – Geneva
The report entitled International migrant workers in the mining sector seeks to draw attention to the wide range of issues raised by the presence of foreign migrant workers in the mining industry, as well as to the very different contexts in which labour migration to this economic sector takes place. The question of international migrant workers in the mining sector covers a wide variety of patterns of mobility and, as well, raises political, legal, economic and social issues with consequences which have clearly not attracted the attention they merit. The report provides an overview of this theme but also aims to point to certain areas where information is either lacking or very fragmentary and consequently merit close attention and which clearly need further research. In order to do so, the report firstly underlines the main characteristics of the mining sector and its impact on employment. Second, a brief review of the literature on international migration is provided in order to highlight the gender and skills dimensions of migrants in current migratory flows, as well as certain of the main theoretical concepts which are proposed to apprehend these issues. In order to give a very brief overview of the very wide variation of situations pertaining to this subject across the world, this section concludes by presenting examples of academic studies and certain key trends they identify in three regions : Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The third section, which is the core of the report, illustrates the wide range
of migration patterns related to the mining industry by exploring 6 national case studies which are Australia, Chile, Zambia, Mali, Papua New-Guinea and New-Caledonia.
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