Labour migrants shall according to the ILO and UN conventions on labour migration be provided with equal treatment with local workers with regard to working conditions including pay. Factors like migration law (creating dependence on employers and fears of expulsion) and limited access to justice, challenge the enforcement of the equal treatment principle. The social dumping argument has been raised by actors arguing for the closure of borders. However, labour migration is a feature of contemporary labour markets and the future world of work. Instead of rising walls measures to overcome obstacles against equal treatment must be considered. Effective monitoring and enforcement are crucial in this respect. The explicit enforcement provisions in the ILO and UN conventions are quite vague. In this paper it will be analysed to what extent the monitoring bodies of the relevant ILO and UN conventions demand for effective monitoring and enforcement of the equal treatment principle in their comments to the state parties and what kind of measures they suggest that the state parties shall take to make the equal treatment principle a reality. The analysis reveals that the monitoring bodies apply a context based interpretation of the provisions in the conventions, suggesting a wide range of measures to overcome the obstacles mentioned. The division between migration law and labour law turns out to be of less importance than the ambition to make equal treatment a reality.
The Seasonal Workers Directive combines immigration law, which regulates entry and stay in a territory, with labour law, which governs the rights of workers. The different interests and expertise of the various eu institutions involved in the Directive’s drafting and adoption exacerbated the tension between these two legal fields. In turn, this tension compromised the achievement of several of the eu’s explicit objectives, namely, creating a level playing field for the recruitment of seasonal migrant workers across the Member States, instituting a circular migration program, and protecting migrant workers from economic and social exploitation. This article focuses on the extent to which the Directive has the capacity to protect seasonal migrant workers. To do so, it sketches the history of the Directive and discusses some consequences of its treaty basis, which provides the context for our analysis and evaluation of the substantive provisions of the Directive.