complain about unsafe working conditions.” In many cases, complaining about their work conditions and claiming justice would only result in their immediate deportation. The COVID-19 pandemic compounds this already exploitative reality. An article 6 published in June this year, denounced new forms of abuses experienced by migrant workers in the agriculture sector: increased pressure on daily outputs, inadequate conditions to allow for the respect of workers’ safety, no equipment distributed for protection against contagion as well as inadequate sanitary facilities to guarantee basic hygiene in accommodation structures. A video released by Reuters7 tells the story of Ethiopian women, migrant domestic workers, suddenly dismissed by their employers and left on their own without any shelter, documentation and, in some instances, without due payment for the services rendered. An equally recent podcast on data collection on COVID-19,8 denounces the segregation of non-key migrant workers in guarded, densely populated dormitories in Asia. Physically separated from the rest of society and forced to remain in the same space, migrant workers are left effectively unable to protect themselves against the risk of contagion. A 2017 Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) report, looks into the costs borne by migrant workers. Whilst, up until now, the main discourse on migration costs, has been mostly revolving around monetary aspects (e.g. recruitment fees9, relocation costs, costs of remittances), KNOMAD discusses the problem of the non-monetary price that migrant workers pay, as a result of abysmal working conditions at their employment destination. Non-monetary costs include denied access to health and social protection systems, poor work-life balance, work-related injuries (including stress and fatigue), long-term illnesses,10 and the psychological impact of the migration experience. Despite being largely disregarded in the general assessment of the costs of migration, these elements represent a fundamental component in the overall return on the migration investment11 and influence the success of the relationship between migration and development, 12 along with implications for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the KNOMAD report suggests “much of these [non-monetary] costs are unknown in advance, and revealed only at destination […] and that failure to account for the costs of migration linked to the conditions of work raises issues of accuracy of migration decisions, false hopes, and efficiency losses in general.” 13 These costs may lead to earlier dismissals or physical incapacity to continue to perform employment services, with consequent inability to earn enough to support oneself and send remittances back home to support one’s family: “[h]igher costs due to poor conditions of work are strongly and significantly negatively correlated with the amount of remittances, in absolute and relative terms, as well as the duration of migration.” 14 This also means missed opportunities for further 6 Grant, H., Women picking fruit for UK supermarkets 'facing new forms of exploitation' (The Guardian, 03 June 2020) 7 See also 8 9 Migration Data Portal, Migrant recruitment costs, (9 June 2020) 10 See for instance Underwood, E., Unhealthy work: Why migrants are especially vulnerable to injury and death on the job, (Knowable Magazine 18 July 2018) 11 The decision to migrate is often the result of a household investment decision that sees employment abroad as a survival strategy and a strategy for risk diversification. 12 International Organisation for Migration, Migration and Sustainable Development,; and International Organisation for Migration, Migration and the 2030 Agenda. A guide for practitioners (2018), 13 Aleksynska M., et al., Deficiencies in Conditions of Work as a Cost to Labor Migration: Concepts, Extent, and Implications (Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development August 2017) Working paper, no. 28 14 Ibid. 2

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