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Changes and Challenges of Cross-border Mobility within the European Union


Edited By Trine Lund Thomsen

This book presents the results of the MIDA-project – the impact of labour migra-tion from the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to the Danish labour market. In addition, it includes chapters that focus on labour mobility in other EU countries. The project stems from collaboration between researchers from the former CoMID (the Research Center for the Study of Migration and Diversity) at Aalborg University and the Department of Occupational Medicine at the Regional Hospital West Jutland.
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Chapter 6 Work Environment and Health among Migrant Workers (Kurt Rasmussen and Karin Biering)


Kurt Rasmussen and Karin Biering

Chapter 6 Work Environment and Health among Migrant Workers

Introduction and Background

An international long-term migrant is defined by the UN as a ‘person who moves to a country other than that of his or her usual residence for a period of at least a year.’ In 2010, an estimated 73 million migrants lived in the WHO European region, with migrants constituting about 9 % of the total European population – compared to 12 % in Denmark (Danish Ministry of Finance 2017; Rechel et al. 2013). Migrant workers have become an important part of the Danish labour market, especially after the enlargement of the European Union (EU) in 2004. New figures show that Eastern European workers constitute a substantial part of the workforce, particularly in the construction industry, abattoirs and the agricultural sector (Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment 2017). One-third of the employed farm workers now come from Romania, Poland and Lithuania. Also, the cleaning and service industries employ a large contingent of migrant workers who mainly originate from countries outside Europe (Danish Agency for Labour Market and Recruitment 2017).

It is a common understanding that the general working conditions we offer migrant workers in Denmark and other Western European countries are poor, including a risky work environment compared to the conditions of the native population. As a result of the more hazardous work tasks, combined with a poorer safety culture among migrants, one might expect...

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