It's International Labor Day and our featured video puts the spotlight on migrant workers in Russia with Unspeakable Things, an audio slideshow by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Most workers that migrate to Russia are young men between 18-39 that leave home in search of jobs and income to support their families. Eighty percent come from countries in the Former Soviet Union with high rates of poverty and unemployment, like Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Estimates account for anywhere between 4 and 9 million migrant workers in Russia today - 40% of whom find jobs in construction, a highly under-regulated and often dangerous line of work.
Although migrant workers anywhere are guaranteed basic human rights - like the right to fair pay, to be free from forced labor, and to safe working conditions - a new report by HRW shows that migrant workers in Russia are facing widespread abuse and exploitation, including forced labor, bonded labor, and violence.
The report - compiled after two years of research and more than 140 interviews - calls on the Russian government to take urgent action and promote "rigorous reforms to protect migrant construction workers from these serious human rights abuses." To learn more, read HRW's full report and watch these videos about migrant workers in other parts of the world.