[URBANTH-L]Symposium: The Unprotected Migrant (Finland)

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Fri Dec 16 14:56:43 EST 2005

The Unprotected Migrant: Mobility, Social Policy and Labour Rights in

Paper submission deadline: 15 January 2006

A scientific symposium organized by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced
and University of Tampere Centre for Advanced Study (UTACAS).
University of Tampere, May 1617th, 2006.

This symposium is an opportunity for researchers and policy practitioners
concerned with
migrant related social policy and labour issues, to present research and
exchange ideas on
the transnationalization of European labour markets, and the effects of
migration on social protection and worker rights.

Welfare states and industrial relations systems are intrinsically national
in focus and
definition, and are therefore under intense pressure from increasing
transnational labour
mobility. Welfare states and national labour markets set boundaries to avoid
overwhelmed, most notably by excluding foreigners through residency and work
requirements and immigration restrictions. This can leave migrants and
potential labour
market participants unprotected and vulnerable to exploitation. It also
through competition the rights and protections of those "inside" the welfare
unprotected migrants will work for less, and they do not enjoy the same
labour rights and
welfare benefits.

Although ideologically and rhetorically, progressive political forces
accept the inclusion of migrants as participants in all aspects of advanced
societies, the reality is less simple. The simultaneous imperatives to
exclude and include
migrants generate uncomfortable policy contradictions which cannot be wished
For example, labour unions usually advocate against racism and
discrimination in general
terms. However, in specific cases when migrants threaten to take the jobs of
members, they sometimes find themselves supporting immigration restrictions.
strategy sometimes works in the short term, but can create long term
resentment and
make it more difficult to build solidarity between migrant and native
workers. There are
no easy answers, but as the recent riots in France show, the consequences of
not finding
sound policy solutions can be explosive. This symposium is open to the

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