Migrant workers in Russia are routinely denied wages, threatened with violence, and abused by the police, and the economic crisis is likely to make their lives worse, Human Rights Watch says in a new report
Millions of migrants from poor ex-Soviet republics have flocked to work in Russia, but the government has failed to protect them from predatory employers and corrupt officials, the rights group said.
The report focuses on workers in the construction sector, which it says employs 40 percent of the up to 9 million migrants it estimates to be working in Russia.
"Without urgent action by the Russian government, migrant construction workers will be doubly vulnerable to abuse, both by employers and by others looking to scapegoat migrants for the country's economic problems," report author Jane Buchanan said in a statement.
The report's authors interviewed 146 current or former construction workers -- many from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- who complained of being forced to sleep on the floors of dirty trailers, work with shoddy safety equipment, and endure beatings and unpaid wages.
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