Undocumented migrants are not allowed to work legally. However, many of you work in the informal labour market. In theory, the labour law is still valid, which means that rules about minimum wages, payment during illness, and days off should be respected. In practice this is often difficult to realise. However, undocumented people are also entitled to protection from abuse. There are a number of organizations that work with and for victims of exploitation who can offer concrete help!
I am a victim of human trafficking. When I arrived in the Netherlands they locked me up against my will and exploited me. I have escaped but need help. What are my rights?
Contact as soon as you can independent support organisations such as ACM (Amsterdams Centrum Mensenhandel), you can call them 24/7 in case of an emergency: 06 – 10 59 94 58.
Victims of human trafficking always have the right to report this to the police. Even if you don’t have a residence permit or passport, you can still report it in the Netherlands without the risk of being immediately being deported. Do not let the police turn you down, but tell them clearly that you are the victim of a serious crime. The police are obliged to take your complaint seriously.
Important: The police are also responsible for deporting people without papers. It is therefore advisable to take somebody with you, for example a social worker, if you report to the police. This prevents misunderstandings and the risk that you could be deported by mistake.
I work long hours and not allowed to leave the shop. I am being exploited?
Do you work long hours and don’t get paid. Has your employer withdrawn your identity documents or locked you up during working hours? Advice: Build evidence about work exploitation: Try to keep track of where you are, the amount of hours that you work, the communication between you and the employer, the names of your employers, the location you work. Make photos, keep WhatsApp messages for evidence. Are you victim of human trafficking and exploitation, then safe reporting is possible! Contact if needed ACM or FairWork, Fairwork has consultation hours in the Wereldhuis in the Arie Biemondstraat 103, every Tuesday from 11.00-12.30 and 13.00-14.30 and in their own office in the center of Amsterdam.
What are my rights as an undocumented worker?
Undocumented migrants are not allowed to work legally. However, a lot of people work in the informal labour market. In theory, the labour law is still valid, which means that rules about minimum wages, payment during illness, and days off should be respected. In practice this is often difficult to realise. > for information about work : https://www.fairwork.nu/en/frequently-asked-questions/
I want to form an union with my friends to stand stronger, how do I do this?
Learn from other migrant groups on how to develop a collective. Contact IMWU, FNV Domestic Workers, The Philippine selforganization to ask if they can share their expertise. Amsterdam City Rights can advise you also, by developing small unions, or entrepreneurial collectives you stand stronger together. Ideally do this with people you know and that are either in the same situation or with people that support your cause.