I have a country X that's rapidly growing and badly needs a work force nearby. Unfortunately for the business community population is deeply xenophobic and immigration is a non option. So the government decides on a consensus. There's a strip of low value desert land with coastline that is controlled by country X but contested by neighboring countries Y & Z. And X's claim to it is quite flimsy.

So they decide to make it an industrial zone for labor intensive products. The government brings cheap labor from poorest countries in the world, refugees, prosecuted minorities, anyone who could work under lowest wages. The government makes sure that they are from as many sects, nationalities and races as possible so they can't unify and ask for rights or god forbid independence.

The problem is governing all those people, since X could use few of its security forces and bureaucracy. The strip is not popular for citizens and beside citizens are very expensive, which defeats the purpose of cheap place nearby to make labor intensive staff.

What is the best way for X government to recruit apparatus from foreigners that will be loyal to it and do their job reasonably professional? By government apparatus I means police force, customs, city administration etc.

P.S. Don't mention China and offshoring, they want place nearby with cheap labor and that's governed by their own law and fallows their own standards. The neighboring countries are far to lawless and they don't want to outsource.

  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking something like the proposed special economic zone off the shore of South Korea $\endgroup$
    – pojo-guy
    May 5, 2018 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ Does X's 'rapidly growing' refer only to economy? Historically, rapidly expanding economies in low-population-growth nations tend to climb the industry chain as higher wages make labor-intensive industries less competitive. Since you want the guest workers to follow X's standards, does that include wages? $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    May 5, 2018 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ "since X could use few of its security forces and bureaucracy." Why not? Bayonets, batons and barricades are a universal language, and the printing press and TV mean that you don't need that many translators. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    May 5, 2018 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand. What's stopping them from importing not only slaves but also slavedrivers? There are plenty of people in the world who would work as policemen, customs agents, bureaucrats and so on. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    May 5, 2018 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ You wouldn't want the place to be part of your country, since this would entail the workers to have the same rights as your workers and even plead for full citzenship eventually. Just open a bunch of Sweatshops on some foreing country, not only you will save a lot with wage-slaves, but you also won't have to worry about security. Also, you could increase your population moral showing how the barbarian foreings treat their own population like slaves. $\endgroup$
    – Sasha
    May 5, 2018 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


This is done in rich countries that want cheap foreign labor. Like yours!

Dubai has such a camp called Sonapur.



However, these sub-localities now house several collective labour accommodations and labour camps for the mainly South Asian labourers that service the industrial areas of Al Qusais, as well as construction workers who mainly support real estate projects south of Dubai Creek[citation needed]. This area is referred to as Sonapur (literally, Land of Gold in Urdu/Hindi) by expatriate labourers. Recently, living conditions in the collective labour camps were criticised by Human Rights Watch, as being "less than human". As a result of the criticism, the Dubai government closed down 100 labour camps that failed to meet basic standards set by the Dubai Municipality However in the past couple of years, Muhaisnah area has a number of new residential projects being constructed, mainly due to the Expo 2020 construction boom in Dubai.

As regards the question, govern them like you govern the rest of your territory. You can let the industries who employ the works administer the actual buildings.

Expat workers are not a particularly difficult group to govern. They are there to work, work, work. They stay at the pleasure of the government. The work and pay available is better than what they could get in their home countries. If one of them gets sick or does not want to work or makes trouble, send him back to his own country and get a replacement.

As regards the idea of a few each of many types of people, I think that depends on the labor market. I think that the Dubai workers are mostly from South Asia because those are the people who want to come work. Not many Swedes signing up for this. Another reason for cultural homogeneity - word of mouth. From my home, I cannot check this workers camp out and decide if I want to come. What if it is some terrible ripoff? But if I know my cousin is there and he is sending money home to my aunt, I know it is the real deal. Plus my cousin can show me the ropes when I arrive.

Last I do not think one needs to house the workers where the factories are. It might not be prudent to put a big investment like a factory on a contested strip of land. House the workers in your seaside strip and then bus them in to the factories inland or wherever they are optimally sites.

bus full of workers

Plus this gives you more room for workers and more flexibility about where they work.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Came here to provide this answer, which you presented much better than I could. It's really depressing how often people come here to post their fantastical dystopian scenarios, only to find out that they are in fact already very real. $\endgroup$ May 5, 2018 at 18:15
  • $\begingroup$ It's sad how expats are treated by their employers, some odd then have an insane education level and end up doing trash jobs abroad because the party is better $\endgroup$
    – Pliny
    May 8, 2018 at 3:43

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