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Undocumented

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Rejimon Kuttappan is an independent journalist and a migrant rights defender. He was Chief Report... Read More

Product Description

Rejimon Kuttappan is an independent journalist and a migrant rights defender. He was Chief Reporter for the Times of Oman until he was deported back to India in 2017, for exposing human trafficking and modern slavery in the Arab Gulf through a front-page news story.

Rejimon now writes for the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), Equal Times, Migrant Rights, Middle East Eye, The Hindu, Times of India, The Caravan, Wire, The Leaflet, and various other Indian news portals.

He has done two media fellowships with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on labour migration and human trafficking, and one each with TRF and National Foundation of India (NFI) on forced labour and Gulf migration, respectively.

Rejimon is also a researcher for the Migrant Forum in Asia and has worked as a consultant for the ILO and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

In 2019, he authored an anthology, Rowing Between Rooftops: The Heroic Fishermen of Kerala Floods, telling the stories of heroic fishermen who rescued thousands from the 2018 Kerala floods.

Rejimon belongs to the Panan Dalit community of Kerala. Historically, Panans were ballad singers who narrated the acts of the then great warriors and kings. He wishes to continue this storytelling legacy through his books and writing.

Rejimon lives in Kerala and can be followed on @rejitweets. He can be contacted at reji.news@gmail.com

Our complicated and fragile global economy relies on the unacknowledged labour of a subterranean network of undocumented migrant workers. Despite them providing vital support to host economies, governments continue to turn a blind eye to these migrants' woes without any consequences. In the absence of documents to speak for them, their human rights are systematically abused, their voices ignored, their existence refuted.

The women, as is often the case, suffer under the dual attacks of patriarchy and anonymity. Exigencies of bureaucracy ensure that the children are often unregistered and even lack passports. The result is a truly exploited populace without much relief in sight. They survive on sheer courage and perseverance, shedding blood, sweat and tears that end up fuelling the thumping home and host economies.

In Undocumented, journalist and migrant-rights researcher Rejimon Kuttappan brings to light the lives of these oft-ignored migrants through stories of six Indians in the Arab Gulf, and through them, voices the plight of millions more. Delving into histories both personal and national to establish where we are and how we got here, the author lays bare the lives of people betrayed by their own into human trafficking, into poverty, and into exile in a land that only glimmers with promise.

In Undocumented, Rejimon Kuttappan, a veteran campaigner for migrant rights, provides a gripping and heartbreaking account of the lives of Indian migrants to the Gulf, and the numerous personal and legal hardships they face. From visa struggles to the crushing weight of societal expectations, the suffering recounted in this book is immense, and should concern every Indian deeply.

This book is written with great clarity, taking the reader along with the many varied journeys of Keralite migrants to Oman. It shows how the marginalization of migrants is intensified by those who are undocumented, whether by design, bastardry, serendipity, or fate.

As a storyteller, Rejimon Kuttappan takes us into the world of migrant workers whose lives are turned upside down as they deal with the status of being "undocumented". He reveals throughout the book how an "undocumented status" is constructed in migration management systems that thrive on the exploitation of labour. He tells of the power of resilience of migrant workers who go through untold challenges to make a living. Artfully, he makes the reader put down the book several times and pick it up again each time while reflecting on the power dynamics, the inequalities, and the systemic and structural deficits that have plagued labour for the longest time. In the end, the story is about heroes who despite the odds survive, and in telling their stories Rejimon Kuttappan captures the indefatigable spirit of the undocumented.

Undocumented by Rejimon Kuttappan is compelling. Through stories from the lives of migrant workers and indeed his own, Reji depicts the broken labour market that is used to construct and service rich economies. Itsdehumanising exploitation and the struggles of these workers to survive graphically describe this reality.

It does not have to be like this!

Labour laws and robust compliance systems can guarantee decent work for migrant workers. Some of the Gulf countries are changing but for the majority not fast enough. We need to shift the immoral culture of development based on practices of modern slavery and to entrench dignity and respect through the rule of law. Without migrant workers these nations could not operate but human and labour rights cannot continue to be denied.

Reji's latest book is a must read.

Storytelling can be a powerful form of advocacy and I recall Rejimon telling me stories of migrants with passion and empathy. This book tells the stories of some of these forgotten people, the individual migrants who left their home and families in Kerala to build the shining cities of the Gulf.

Product Details

Title: Undocumented
Author: Rejimon Kuttappan
SKU: BK0454647
EAN: 9780143451471
Language: English
Binding: Paperback

About Author

Rejimon Kuttappan is an independent journalist and a migrant rights defender. He was Chief Reporter for the Times of Oman until he was deported back to India in 2017, for exposing human trafficking and modern slavery in the Arab Gulf through a front-page news story.

Rejimon now writes for the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), Equal Times, Migrant Rights, Middle East Eye, The Hindu, Times of India, The Caravan, Wire, The Leaflet, and various other Indian news portals.

He has done two media fellowships with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on labour migration and human trafficking, and one each with TRF and National Foundation of India (NFI) on forced labour and Gulf migration, respectively.

Rejimon is also a researcher for the Migrant Forum in Asia and has worked as a consultant for the ILO and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

In 2019, he authored an anthology, Rowing Between Rooftops: The Heroic Fishermen of Kerala Floods, telling the stories of heroic fishermen who rescued thousands from the 2018 Kerala floods.

Rejimon belongs to the Panan Dalit community of Kerala. Historically, Panans were ballad singers who narrated the acts of the then great warriors and kings. He wishes to continue this storytelling legacy through his books and writing.

Rejimon lives in Kerala and can be followed on @rejitweets. He can be contacted at reji.news@gmail.com

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