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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article is dedicated to the secondary analysis of various studies carried out among migrant workers, as well as of expert reviews and opinions expressed online. Based on the findings of this analysis, we consider the social dimension of health risks faced by migrant workers in various aspects of their lifestyle. Researching the health issues of migrant workers in Russia and searching for ways to mitigate their health risks has not only humanitarian but also pragmatic benefits, as health impacts an individual’s general well-being and capacity for self-expression, in addition to being an important feature of a high-quality labor force. Health risks faced by migrant workers are closely interlinked to their rights (or lack thereof), especially the right to professional healthcare. Our study reveals that it is difficult to monitor the health of migrant workers as they enter the country. The need for a medical examination of migrant workers in the country that they are about to leave is occasionally brought up during discussions of various levels. Experts from the Russian Federal Migration Service oppose this measure, believing it technically unfeasible to demand that every migrant show proof that they are not carrying a deadly infection upon crossing the border. We also look at the issues of migrants’ social integration, as its absence is also a health risk factor. Resolving the issue of migrant workers’ integration into Russian society implies studying the correlation between their integration potential and the actual conditions in which they are to live and work. A significant problem is posed by the numerous violations in the workplace treatment of migrant workers, namely: the lack of a labor contract or legal agreement with an employer, or, even if a contract is present, the lack of guarantee that the worker will not be terminated without prior notice, as well as some instances of fraudulent labor contracts; the lack of right to voluntary resignation or leave; confiscation of documents by the employer; and the employer’s refusal to pay the workers under an arbitrary pretext. This article also studies the availability of professional healthcare. We arrive at a conclusion that health risks threatening migrant workers may be alleviated by doing the following: cutting down on migrant workers’ involvement in the shadow and legally dubious labor market; and making certain that the institutions responsible for monitoring and supporting migrant workers are functioning efficiently.
labor migration, health, self-protection behavior, adaptation, medical assistance