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Unwanted and Unprotected: the right to join trade unions for irregular workers in Sweden

Mirosavic, Natasa (2009)
Department of Law
Abstract
The notion of human rights is built on the fact that they are universal rights and thus applies to everyone without exceptions. Despite this irregular workers are denied their labour rights and their human rights due to the fact that they are living in a country unlawfully. The states use methods as regularizing irregular migrants or enabling tougher sanctions against irregular migration in order to decrease the number of irregular workers. The focus needs to shift from labeling irregular workers as an immigration problem to seeing it as a labour question. The demand for cheap labour pulls the irregular migrants to the EU and to Sweden. If the only way to ensure human rights is to be a citizen of a country then the terminology needs to... (More)
The notion of human rights is built on the fact that they are universal rights and thus applies to everyone without exceptions. Despite this irregular workers are denied their labour rights and their human rights due to the fact that they are living in a country unlawfully. The states use methods as regularizing irregular migrants or enabling tougher sanctions against irregular migration in order to decrease the number of irregular workers. The focus needs to shift from labeling irregular workers as an immigration problem to seeing it as a labour question. The demand for cheap labour pulls the irregular migrants to the EU and to Sweden. If the only way to ensure human rights is to be a citizen of a country then the terminology needs to change from human rights to citizen rights. There are some human rights that are so important that they are seen as fundamental human rights and this thesis deals with three of them: the access to justice, the right to join trade unions and the freedom from discrimination. People that enter countries without permission and in search of work often end up sacrificing their human rights in the pursuit of a better life. They are particularly vulnerable because they often lack protection. If they complain to the state in which they are unlawfully residing about maltreatment, it will lead to expulsion and if they complain to their employer it will probably lead to termination of employment. The traditional legal channels are therefore not an option for them in realizing their rights. The access to justice is at the core of all human rights since it is a precondition of actually realizing them. In international law, as in any other legal system, respect and protection of human rights can be guaranteed only by the availability of effective judicial remedies. Access to justice in not only limited to improving or even enabling the access to courts but also includes ensuring that the outcomes of the decisions are just. Universal rights should be applicable to all and they are not sufficient if they cannot be granted in reality. Trade unions are organizations of workers who have come together in order to improve their working conditions. They fill a key role in protecting workers in general and can fill a key role in protecting irregular workers in specific. In many countries, and particularly in Sweden, the rights for workers in general are protected through trade unions. In addition to that the access to justice is mainly exercised through the trade unions. Despite the growing numbers of irregular workers, they are in general not allowed to join trade unions and with that fact, their access to justice is challenged. There is however a right to join trade unions for irregular workers even if they are currently both unwanted and unprotected. (Less)
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author
Mirosavic, Natasa
supervisor
organization
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Folkrätt
language
English
id
1560204
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:55:26
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:55:26
@misc{1560204,
  abstract     = {The notion of human rights is built on the fact that they are universal rights and thus applies to everyone without exceptions. Despite this irregular workers are denied their labour rights and their human rights due to the fact that they are living in a country unlawfully. The states use methods as regularizing irregular migrants or enabling tougher sanctions against irregular migration in order to decrease the number of irregular workers. The focus needs to shift from labeling irregular workers as an immigration problem to seeing it as a labour question. The demand for cheap labour pulls the irregular migrants to the EU and to Sweden. If the only way to ensure human rights is to be a citizen of a country then the terminology needs to change from human rights to citizen rights. There are some human rights that are so important that they are seen as fundamental human rights and this thesis deals with three of them: the access to justice, the right to join trade unions and the freedom from discrimination. People that enter countries without permission and in search of work often end up sacrificing their human rights in the pursuit of a better life. They are particularly vulnerable because they often lack protection. If they complain to the state in which they are unlawfully residing about maltreatment, it will lead to expulsion and if they complain to their employer it will probably lead to termination of employment. The traditional legal channels are therefore not an option for them in realizing their rights. The access to justice is at the core of all human rights since it is a precondition of actually realizing them. In international law, as in any other legal system, respect and protection of human rights can be guaranteed only by the availability of effective judicial remedies. Access to justice in not only limited to improving or even enabling the access to courts but also includes ensuring that the outcomes of the decisions are just. Universal rights should be applicable to all and they are not sufficient if they cannot be granted in reality. Trade unions are organizations of workers who have come together in order to improve their working conditions. They fill a key role in protecting workers in general and can fill a key role in protecting irregular workers in specific. In many countries, and particularly in Sweden, the rights for workers in general are protected through trade unions. In addition to that the access to justice is mainly exercised through the trade unions. Despite the growing numbers of irregular workers, they are in general not allowed to join trade unions and with that fact, their access to justice is challenged. There is however a right to join trade unions for irregular workers even if they are currently both unwanted and unprotected.},
  author       = {Mirosavic, Natasa},
  keyword      = {Folkrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Unwanted and Unprotected: the right to join trade unions for irregular workers in Sweden},
  year         = {2009},
}