In India, the construction industry is the second-largest employer, with 51 million workers currently employed. Contracting and subcontracting has contributed to the rise of intermediary labor contractors, who provide migrants with information about labor markets and bring them to construction sites for work. Engagement in physically demanding low-skill jobs, low wages, harsh working conditions, and often deplorable living arrangements characterize the lives of many migrant construction workers. The Population Council, in partnership with the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, undertook a qualitative study to explore the nature of the labor supply chain in the construction industry and the relationship between workers, micro-contractors, other contractors, and construction firms/companies. The study also explored vulnerabilities faced by migrant construction workers, perceptions of workers and micro-contractors about ethical recruitment and employment practices, and challenges faced by micro-contractors in following these ethical recruitment and employment practices. Twenty-five micro-contractors and 236 workers were interviewed from June to August 2022 in construction sites in Bengaluru and Delhi in India.
Santhya, K.G., A.J. Francis Zavier, Snigdha Banerjee, and Shilpi Rampal. 2022. "Ethical recruitment and employment in the construction industry in India: Perspectives and experiences of workers and micro-contractors," technical report. New Delhi: Population Council.