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Health Conditions of Inter-State Migrants in Marine Fisheries: A Study of Kerala


The marine fisheries are one of the vital occupations in the southern parts of India. This industry is considered to be the foundation of revenue generation for these states. Kerala, being located at the southernmost part of India, is promoting this industry with support from inter-state migrant labourers. The inter-state migrants working in Kerala’s maritime industry are from northern and southern India. As a result of higher salaries and improved working conditions in this unskilled sector, people from the North and Eastern parts of the country have started to migrate to Kerala. Indeed, the continual cash flow in this sector makes it lucrative and invites a large influx of migrant labour to this region. These inter-state migrant labourers work for more than eight hours and spend 10 to 15 days at sea while fishing. They have to stay with heavy pieces of equipment at sea away from shore. This heart-wrenching situation deteriorates their health. They come across various kinds of professional injuries while fishing. Some of these fishermen and fisherwomen encounter long-term effects from those injuries.

On the other hand, catering to their health needs seems challenging due to the lack of adequate medical facilities for migrant labourers. Following the increase in migratory flow, Kerala’s health system has faced several institutional impediments. The lack of identification of migrant labourers cripples the entire process of providing access to a better healthcare system to them. As a result, inter-state migrant labourers in the marine industry are facing various health-related challenges due to the nature of this profession and the apathy of state machinery.

Therefore, this study seeks to explore the health issues affecting the inter-state migrant labourers in Kerala’s marine sector through a mixed-method research design.


Inter-state Migrants, Maritime Industry, Health Issues, Occupation, Heavy Equipments, Kerala, India



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