Blog

Legal Education and Aid

Migrant workers are part of India's vast informal and unorganized economy. As a result they are often at the receiving end of malpractices, unfair wage deductions and fraudulence. They are often caught in a chain of contractors and middlemen and have little recourse to legal help. There are also few opportunities for workers and employers to resolve their disputes through a fair and transparent process.

In order to respond to the growing instances of labour disputes the LEAD cell offers legal education, aid and counselling to migrant workers and their employers. The legal aid service includes legal literacy, mediation between parties and litigation assistance in special cases. The LEAD Cell organises legal clinics at field centres where workers, contractors and employers are invited to settle their long standing disputes.

The LEAD cell has also pioneered several labour protection initiatives /tools such as labour attendance diaries, model contracts for casual workers and a wide array of material for labour education. There is also a cadre of community based paralegal workers who engage in workers' education and counselling.

Labour Line is a phone based helpline for workers to call in and seek immediate advice and guidance in the event of distress or problems encountered at work. Labour Line operates from a call centre set up in the LEAD cell and it handles well over 200 calls every month from workers from Rajasthan, and Gujarat. Labour Line derives its support from a strong network of organisations, social activists and volunteers.