UNSW-UTS Migrant Worker Justice Initiative joins $36m global research hub aiming to harness benefits of South-South migration

The Migrant Worker Justice Initiative (MWJI), co-led by UNSW Sydney and UTS, is set to play a key role in a $36 million (£20m) global research hub – funded through UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and led by Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) – announced by UKRI as part of an ambitious new approach to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

Bassina Farbenblum, Senior Lecturer in the UNSW Sydney Faculty of Law and Co-Director of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative said:

“The Hub will provide the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative with an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with extraordinary partners throughout the Global South to advance enforcement of rights and remedies for migrant workers.”

Co-Director of the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, Laurie Berg, Senior Lecturer in the UTS Faculty of Law, said:

“The Hub will enable us to create new multi-disciplinary and transnational partnerships for evidence-based innovation and scale in our research and its implementation beyond the traditionally researched migrant destination countries in the Global North.”

The UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub will see the MWJI join forces with universities and organisations from across the world to explore how the movement of people in the Global South is affecting inequality and development in less developed regions. The initiative is thought to be the largest study into global migration undertaken anywhere in the world.

Professor Andrew Thompson, UKRI champion for international and executive chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), said:

“The sheer scale and ambition of these Hubs is what makes them so exciting. They enable us to deliver a coordinated global response with UK researchers working in partnership with researchers, governments, NGOs, community groups and international agencies across developing countries. Each Hub has the potential to transform the quality of life for multitudes throughout the world and safeguard our planet for future generations.”

Over the next five years the Hub will work with governments, international agencies, partners and NGOs on the ground in these countries and around the globe to maximise the benefits of South-South migration for development – and to investigate how it contributes to the

delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as ending poverty and reducing inequality.

South-South migration is estimated to account for nearly half of all international migration (up to 70% in some places), but its potential benefits have been undermined by limited and unequal access to rights and to the economic and social opportunities that migration can bring.

The Hub will explore South-South migration in six global ‘corridors’ linking origin and destination countries, focusing in particular on the following routes: Nepal–Malaysia; China– Ghana; Burkina Faso–Cote D’Ivoire; Ethiopia–South Africa; Haiti–Brazil; and Egypt–Jordan.

Professor Heaven Crawley, an expert in international migration at Coventry University, will lead the Hub’s network of partners which includes 20 leading universities, six international organisations and numerous local organisations.

/Public Release.