Exploitation of migrant workers is likely to rise, with employers desperate to make savings in the recession.
Discrimination of migrant workers in Ireland is now the second highest problem, according to the Equality Authority, with scores of cases being brought before the Equality Tribunal every year.
Mr David Joyce, equality officer of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, says that migrant workers may be entering a period of great risk in terms of discrimination in these tough economic times.
"There may be more acute challenges now that we're living in a recession. All of our previous experiences have come out of boom times, but we may now see other challenges."