E-discussion on: Migrant Workers and Recruitment Processes

English

 

Please note that the e-discussion has now been closed. To read the consolidated reply please click here.

 

Migrant workers and Recruitment processes: What practices, what opportunities and challenges?

 

In collaboration with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) in Paris, the EC-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI) is pleased to present this e-discussion “Migrant workers and Recruitment Processes: What practices, what opportunities and challenges?” This discussion will be formally launched on 10 October and will conclude on 6 November 2011.

Please access the background paper to this dicussion here

A leader in corporate responsibility since 1992, BSR works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to develop sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Through Migration Linkages, a BSR led multi-year initiative, BSR seeks to better understand the recruitment process—from village level to factory floor—in order to identify and mitigate risks to migrating workers and to spotlight opportunities for business to protect basic rights. As a part of this initiative, BSR has recently conducted research and published its findings on the variability in the recruitment system in Indonesia and the resulting human rights risks to Indonesian migrant workers in Step Up: Improving Recruitment of Migrant Workers in Indonesia.  

While many countries have robust migrant worker recruitment systems in theory, in practice, the recruitment process is often characterized by a lack of transparency and abuse at the earliest stages of recruitment. Such abuse often stems from non-standardized fees charged to migrants, the use of illegal or unofficial agents, variability of contracts and labor protection, and under-developed grievance processes. While the amelioration of such abuses is dependent upon a number of factors, including government and business action, increasing the level of awareness and information available to migrant workers is a key component.

 

 


 

This e-discussion involves an exploration of two topics:

1. The methods used by migrant workers to gain information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which they are applying;

2. As workers are migrating in increasingly ‘wired’ environments with internet penetration and mobile technology enhancing access to information, the e-discussion aims to understand whether IT is helping migrants to gain access to reliable information throughout the recruitment process.

 

We would like to address the follwing questions during this e-discussion: 

 

Questions

 

Week One and Two:

1.  What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into? 

2. What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist? 

3. What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?   

4. How does the above vary by region and between men and women workers? 

 

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers? 

2. How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying?  

3. What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved?  

 

We warmly encourage members to forward this message to your networks and invite them to contribute also. The e-discussion will run for three weeks from 10 October to 6 November 2011. Please participate by emailing m4d@groups.dev-nets.org or by posting your comments online in the Migration4Development forum here. Please note that responses are not automatically shared but go to the facilitation team for compilation.

 

The results of this e-discussion will be presented in a consolidated reply. We look forward to a rich and active discussion. Thank you for your participation!

 

The M4D-net Facilitation Team and BSR

 

 

FRANCAIS

Questions

Semaines Une et Deux:

1. Quelles sont les méthodes les plus communément utilisées par les travailleurs migrants pour obtenir des informations à propos de la situation vers laquelle ils émigrent?

Les canaux d’informations les plus usuels sont entre autres, les médias, les relations interpersonnelles, les projets et programmes d’appui ou d’aide aux migrants, les institutions, les organismes et sociétés d’emploi et de recrutement, les centres et institutions de formation professionnelle, les nouvelles technologies (N’tic), etc.

Dans tous les cas, les médias, quelque soit leur nature, constituent le principal moyen de diffusion et d’information sur les opportunités de migration, notamment les reportages et les émissions spécifiques sur les flux et leurs directions.

Au niveau local, le relai est alors assuré de  « bouche à oreille », principalement au niveau des rencontres de jeunes, des cérémonies traditionnelles, etc.

Par rapport à la migration estudiantine, les informations sont le plus souvent fournies par les institutions d’octroi de bourses, les agences de communication prestataires, etc.

2. Quelles opportunités formelles ou organisées sont accessibles aux travailleurs migrants pour obtenir des informations sur les opportunités d’emploi et les agences de recrutement? De même, quelles opportunités informelles existent?

Les opportunités formelles accessibles sont les offres d’emploi diffusées par les organismes internationaux ou nationaux de placement publics ou privés, les institutions internationales ou intergouvernementales qui lancent, à partir de leur site ou de certains organes de très grande audition, leurs offres de recrutement ou de services (prestations). On peut également y ajouter les radios privées, les agences et institutions spécialisées dans le recrutement, l’emploi et l’insertion des jeunes, les établissements publics à caractère administratif (ANPE, APEJ...), etc. De toute façon, le désir d’émigrer étant une décision volontaire (personnelle), les migrants sont le plus souvent actifs et dynamiques dans la recherche d’opportunités.

3. Quelles méthodes sont accessibles aux travailleurs migrants pour évaluer la crédibilité de l’information qu’ils reçoivent de sources à la fois formelles et informelles? 

Il existe des méthodes formelles et informelles accessibles aux travailleurs migrants pour vérifier la véracité des informations reçues. Le caractère officiel  de la structure ou de l’agence (sa crédibilité et son enracinement dans le secteur d’activité), les relations ou les affinités personnelles, la nature de la coopération bilatérale entre le pays d’accueil et le Mali , le lieu et le site de publication, etc.  

La crédibilité d’une information est d’abord évaluée ou vérifiée par le type de procédure (mode de sélection, étapes, conditions de travail..), lorsqu’elle a un caractère officiel (service de placement reconnu ou accrédité), la qualité des outils et supports de base…

Le migrant peut également mobiliser ses propres relations (amis, parents…) du pays destinataire pour vérifier la crédibilité de l’information.

Au Mali, sans être exhaustif, pour évaluer la crédibilité d’une information, les migrants travailleurs peuvent se rendre au CIGEM à l’ANPE, l’APEJ, etc. Force est de reconnaître aujourd’hui, avec la création du Centre d’Information et de gestion des Migrations, que cette dernière est  devenue une référence pour toutes les questions d’information, d’écoute et d’orientation. Le Centre fournit aux migrants de précieux outils et supports sur les conditions d’entrée, de séjour et de sortie au niveau de 16 pays de première destination des maliens, d’information factuels et de sensibilisation sur les risques et dangers liés à la migration irrégulière. Le Centre est fréquemment sollicité pour vérifier des informations diffusées sur internet en provenance des personnes de mauvaise foi.

4. De quelle manière les éléments mentionnés ci-dessus varient-ils en fonction des régions et entre les travailleurs migrants masculins et féminins? 

Ces éléments varient en fonction du pays d’accueil demandeurs, de la nature des travaux et prestations demandés, notamment pour les recrutements d’ouvriers agricoles ou spécialisés, de zones ou les questions de genre sont très sensibles. Dans la plupart des cas de migration légale, les différences sont peu prononcées à moins qu’elles ne résultent de dispositions législatives propres au pays de destination. Dans le cadre de la migration estudiantine par contre, on note très peu de différences en raison des conditions particulières qu’offrent les universités.

 

Semaines Trois et Quatre: 

1. Dans quel but l’internet ou la technologie mobile sont-ils actuellement utilisés par les travailleurs migrants?

L’internet et la technologie mobile sont utilisés par les travailleurs migrants pour mieux communiquer avec leurs familles vivant au pays et répondre rapidement aux différentes sollicitations : transférer l’argent, disposer d’informations sur les projets familiaux, les événements, les soins  de santé, voyage, communication de proximité, ...

2. Comment l’internet ou la téléphonie mobile pourraient-ils être utilisés pour disséminer des informations à propos des agences, des processus de recrutement, et des emplois auxquels les migrants postulent? 

- à condition que les sources de diffusion soient authentiques, officielles avec des adresses email ou téléphoniques professionnelles (et non référencées à yahoo ou hotmail…) ;

- que les informations soient portées par une institution crédible du pays d’origine qui se prémunirait de toutes les garanties avant de les relayer ;

- Mettre en place une législation en vigueur dans la  réglementation des N’TIC au Mali.

3. Quelles sont les contraintes potentielles de ces moyens d’information et comment pourraient-ils être améliorés ? 

 - mettant un réseau de professionnels sécurisé, cadre de partenariat entre les agences, les structures d‘intermédiation, les services d’emploi et de sécurité des pays de départ ;

-  en multipliant les espaces de recrutement ou de pré-recrutement directs ;

- volonté de l’état à acter des mesures administratives et réglementations en vigueur ;

- Elaboration d’un plan de communication.

Abdoulaye Konate

Mali

 


 

 

ENGLISH

Questions

 Week One and Two:

1.      What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into? 

The most common means to gather information include the media, interpersonal relationships, projects and programs that support or assist migrants, institutions, employment and recruitment agencies, vocational training centers, new technologies (IT), etc.
In any case, the media (in whatever form) is the primary mean to disseminate information regarding migration opportunities: documentaries and programmes focusing specifically on migration flows and their destinations…
The information is then transmitted on a local level by word of mouth, mainly at youth meetings, traditional ceremonies, etc.
As for migrant students, they usually gather information through scholarship awarding institutions, through service providing agencies, etc.

2.      What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

Formal opportunities that are available to migrant workers include job offers issued by public or private employment agencies at a national or an international level. International or intergovernmental institutions can also advertise their job offers or services on their website or use other popular means of communication. Other formal ways of obtaining information include private radio stations; institutions specialized in the recruitment, employment and integration of young people; public administrations (such as ANPE, APEJ), etc. In any case, migration is the result of a voluntary decision (a personal one): potential migrants are usually actively seeking opportunities.

 3.      What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources? 

There are formal and informal methods available to migrant workers to verify the information they receive: they can check the official nature of the structure or agency (its credibility and its link with specific sectors of activity), the nature of the bilateral cooperation between Mali and the host country in question, where the information was published, use personal relationships or affinities, …

The credibility of the information is first assessed or verified by focusing on the recruitment procedure (the means of selection, the different stages of the procedure, the working conditions...), by checking its official nature (recognized or authorized recruitment agencies), by checking the quality of the resource and its backup material.
The migrant can also ask people he knows in the country of destination (friends, relatives ...) to check the credibility of the information.

In Mali, migrant workers can go to the CIGEM, the ANPE, the APEJ, etc. to assess the credibility of the information they receive. It is worth noting that soon after its establishment, the Migrant Information and Management Centre (CIGEM) has become a reference for all matters related to information, counseling and guidance. The center provides migrants with valuable information on the conditions of entry, stay and exit for the first 16 countries of destination for Malian people. CIGEM also provides factual information and awareness-raising services on the risks and dangers associated with irregular migration. The Center is frequently asked to verify the quality of  information posted on the internet by ill-intentioned people.

4.      How does the above vary by region and between men and women workers? 

These elements vary according to host countries and to the nature of the requested work and services. This is particularly true regarding the recruitment of farm workers or semi-skilled workers; or in areas where gender related issues are a particularly sensitive topic. In most cases of legal migration, there are no strong differences, only those resulting from variations between  the national legislations of different countries of origin. Concerning student migration, there are almost no differences related to the particular conditions imposed by host universities.

 

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

Internet and mobile technology are used by migrant workers to better communicate with their families left behind and to rapidly respond to different demands: to transfer money, to  gain information on family plans, on events, on health care , on travels, on local communication...

 2. How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying?

Internet and Mobile Phone technology can be used if:

- the sources of dissemination are authentic and official, and professional email addresses or telephone numbers are being used (no references to yahoo or hotmail);
- the information is provided by a credible institution from the country of origin, who would  guarantee the quality of the information they disseminate;
- legislation concerning new technologies is implemented  in Mali.

 3. What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved? 

These methods could be improved by:

- Putting-up a reliable framework for partnerships between professionals: agencies; intermediation services; employment and security services of the country of origin;
- Multiplying direct recruitment or pre-recruitment agencies;
- State implementation of relevant administrative measures and regulations;
- Developing an effective communication strategy.

Abdoulaye Konate

Mali

Dear Community of Practice Members,

In the context of the current e-discussion on migrant workers and recruitment process, I would like to share with you below some insights from our experience in the Philippines.

Week One and Two:

1.  What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into?

The most common methods are interviews/ queries from peers, friends, relatives, neighbors, church members - either those who are already abroad or still in the country or already migrants themselves-  and also by reading media reports (print, tv, radio and online) and browsing through internet./ social network sites

2. What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

Websites of government agencies like POAE, OWWA, DOLE and DFA for job vacancies, countries with open markets for migrants which offer jobs, particularly the POAE site, which also publishes up to date listing of recruitment agencies and recruiters status may also be verified online at POAE website; DFA websites have travel advisories on the situation of countries abroad; through PEOS (pre-employment orientation seminars in the communities), through job fairs in malls and immigration seminars conducted by immigration consultancies; through PESO offices (public employment service office) in the local government – who provide information on job opportunities in the country and abroad and other websites of recruiters, as well as NGOs.

The informal sources are the stakeholders identified in question 1. 

3. What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?  

Migrants can check official government websites and make phone calls and visits to POAE to verify information on recruitment agencies, job orders, and employers; they call NGOs like CMA, church groups, their congress representatives; they consult their own family members; peer consultation/ counseling.

4. How does the above vary by region and between men and women workers?

Urban centers have more opportunities, easier access to information and ways to verify the information than in rural settings and far flung provinces where sources of information especially reliable information can be more scarce. In terms of global region to look for information there is more reliable information on demand for migrants from within Asia, Western Asia in particular. Europe and North America including Oceania are more strict and more targeted in terms of migrants for admission to their countries. As regards to gender, maybe men can have broader areas to look for than women, the latter having less varied  job opportunities , i.e. demand is for domestic workers, caregivers and nurses.

 

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

For social connectivity with family, loved ones at home and elsewhere; to sustain friendships and connections and keep one's sanity and to report their distressed situation and call for help like CMA’s OFW SOS SMS system. The mobile phone is used on occasions and serves as their life line. 

2. How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying? 

This will be difficult for just anybody in the Philippines because we have an elaborate and strict law on illegal recruitment which is a criminal offense. However, government agencies and accredited entities including recruitment agencies should maximize the access to internet as to provide accurate information on recruitment to migrants and prospective migrants.

3. What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved? 

Going back to the basics, that is to the communities where the migrants are, can really help in terms of providing accurate information to migrants; see answer to 1 and 2 above.

 

Thank you,

Ellene A. Sana

Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines

www.pinoy-abroad.net

Questions

Week One and Two:

1. What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into?

The most common method is through personal links, networks, blogs, linkedin, regular meetings in the Diaspora and e-bulletins. Diaspora returnees who have relocated also serve as a credible source of information and there are a number of commercial organizations who provide relocation services and a number of publications by returnees will also support the process.

2. What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

Every country in Africa has a recruitment agency and access via the web there are also numerous online job portals advertising opportunities in Africa e.g. www.findajobinafrica.com . Many employers advertise their vacancies on their websites and disseminate this via e-mails and networks. Facebook and LinkedIn is also an avenue used to create awareness

Offline - embassies, events and personal networks in the Diaspora and related press and media papers.

3. What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?

Same way we take adverts in host countries afterall applicants contact recruiting organization for further information, validate the recruiting agent by visiting website and making enquiries and trust the source if credible and well known organization e.g. multinational, Pan African employers, multilaterals, NGOs and public sector as well as recruitment agencies

4. How does the above vary by region and between men and women workers?

In Africa a significant number of opportunities are done online and in some cases the advert highlights that women are encouraged to apply. Analysis of over 200,000 users at www.findajobinafrica.com highlighted that more men had registered to use the website than women. Opportunities across African countries vary and in some case are in line with the country's source of income e.g. mining, oil & gas, agriculture, conservation and others such as banking, telecoms, agric.

 

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

Internet is the most effective tool in ensuring that Diaspora can access job opportunities in a timely manner hence the increased number of job portals and employers using the net to advertise opportunities.

2. How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying?

This is a well established practice in Africa just google key words and a considerable number of jobs come up. Employers conduct recruitment road shows in the Diaspora directly and indirectly.

3. What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved?

Increased awareness and also the Diaspora actively seeking information online and offline.

Dr. Titilola Banjoko

JMDI Migrant Advisory Board

 

Please find below IOM Cairo’s contribution to the ongoing e-discussion on “Migrant Workers and Recruitment Processes”, showcasing the Egyptian experience.

Week One and Two:

1.  What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into? 

Egyptian migration is mainly facilitated and directed by networks of family and friends. They provide information about the destination country, admission regulations, organize accommodation, find a job and provide financial assistance.

Based on the belief that having access to more systemized and verified information on the destination country prior to the migration process will help potential migrants to make a better informed decision and will increase their success abroad, the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower and Emigration (MME) with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), launched the project “Strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Manpower and Emigration to provide Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) to Egyptian migrant workers” (Nov. 2009 – Oct. 2010). The project aimed at enhancing the Ministry’s capacity to deliver targeted PDO for potential migrants. Through this project, IOM provided staff members of the Ministry with the skills and tools needed to independently deliver PDO courses to an estimated 2,000 prospective Egyptian migrant workers per year. The project activities included:

  • Development and realization of supporting materials (PDO curriculum, trainers’ manual, handbook on immigration and integration and a booklet about Italy and the Italian language);
  • Training of Trainers;
  • Study Tour to Rome providing first-hand experience; 
  • Distribution of training material kits in English and Arabic.

 

2. What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist? 

Egyptian labour migration is facilitated by the MME, more precisely, the Emigration and Egyptians Abroad Sector (EEAS). The Integrated Migration Information System (IMIS) project (phase I: 2001-2005, phase II: 2008-2010), a joint project between the EEAS of the MME, the Italian Government as the donor and the IOM as the implementing partner, was carried out in order to support the Ministry in its efforts to actively assist Egyptian emigration; encourage Egyptians abroad to maintain links with other Egyptians abroad, and with Egypt; enhance Egyptians’ development through the capitalization of Egyptians abroad; and to regulate international Egyptian migration.

In the framework of the project, an online Integrated Migration Information System (IMIS) has been created on the MME’s website, managed by the EEAS (http://www.emigration.gov.eg/index.aspx). Via IMIS, the Ministry provides services and information to employers abroad and Egyptian job seekers, thereby enhancing the flow of information on job opportunities and social, economic and legal conditions in a range of destination countries. The website key tools are:

  • A database (Misriat) which provides Egyptians with information on the main destination countries.

Misriat provides information and links on entry and work visas, citizenship, and country profiles on the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

  • An online job matching system between supply and demand, connecting employers abroad with Egyptian job seekers.

Egyptian job seekers can upload their CVs to the database and employers abroad can register with the system to view Egyptian worker profiles and find a candidate that meets their employment needs. The MME is in charge of approving and validating job seekers’ profiles and provides support to the foreign employers in short-listing the candidates. For the final selection of the candidates, the foreign employer can either appoint a local recruitment agency or make the selection directly.

IOM contributed to the project mainly by providing technical assistance and operational support for the design, development and maintenance of the website and database and the validation of data from job seekers. Furthermore, IOM provided information on potential destination countries, migration laws, etc.

Because online job matching proved to be challenging due to differing job profiles and required skills and competencies between Egypt and destination countries, the project partners decided to implement a third phase of the IMIS project in order to improve the service. Project activities will focus on Quality Assurance (QA) of the assessment of potential migrants’ profiles. So far a “Pilot testing of the Egyptian/Italian combined profiles in Tourism and Construction sectors” has been carried out. In this framework, assessment criteria for each profile have been developed and two vocational training institutions have been identified and approved as assessment centres. These have tested the ability of the IMIS job matching system in a pilot testing (selection, information/guidance and assessment) of 50 job seekers looking for jobs abroad. Lessons learned have been concluded from the exercise to improve the QA model for skills matching. These include for example the updating of the IMIS job matching system by adding a module at the registration stage where the applicant is asked to answer a set of questions related to his or her profession within a specific timeframe. The applicant has to reach a certain score in order to be able to continue the registration process. Also, a mechanism has been suggested which provides information on training possibilities for those who did not successfully pass the assessment and thus are in need of supplementary training in order to match the international skills requirements.

So far, around quarter million job seekers are registered at IMIS.

 

For further information please contact:

Saskia Koppenberg <skoppenberg@iom.int>

IOM Regional Office for the Middle East

Egypt, Cairo

www.egypt.iom.int

 

Week One and Two:

1.       What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into?

The most common way to gather information is direct contact with the prospective migrants who want to migrate to other countries. We provide pre-departure training in the villages and in the Protector of Immigrant office in Chennai, where the migrant workers are given the information about the destination countries. Returnees are also invited in the villages to share their experiences with prospective migrants. News letter, booklets about the pre-departure manual, news papers, and media are used to provide information to the migrant workers. Information about the situation that they are moving into is also shared in the youth groups in the villages. Migrant workers family members association also give information about where their husbands or sons, brothers are migrating to. Our organization has the direct network with the family members of the migrant workers in the villages which helps to give them the information. Our service in the Protector of Immigrant Office gives the opportunity to pass the news to the prospective migrants. Every month nearly 500 prospective labour migrants are given a pre-departure training to sensitize the migrant workers.

2.       What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

In India in the State of Tamil Nadu the formal opportunities that are available to migrant workers include job offers issued by public or private employment agencies at a national or an international level. The recruitment agencies are known through advertisements in the papers, relatives, friends and middle men in the villages. Most of the workers are uneducated, they do not have the access or knowledge to access online opportunities, but they see the advertisements that are published in the daily news paper, electronic media. There is also the Government Manpower Overseas Agency: migrant workers register with it, but they have to wait years to get their job.
Many of the workers who migrate through the recruiting agencies face numerous problems of cheating.

3. What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?

The credibility of the information is first assessed or verified by focusing on the recruitment procedure (the means of selection, the different stages of the procedure, the working conditions...), by checking its official nature (recognized or authorized recruitment agencies), by checking the quality of the resource and its backup material. They are given the awareness on the registered recruiting agencies and the list is available on the Government POE website. In the villages we work, the group members are given the information about it.
Migrants can also ask people they know in the country of destination (friends, relatives ...) to check the credibility of the information. Most workers will come to know about their job only when they get their contract copy from the agent.

4. How does the above vary by region and between men and women workers?

In India the educated professionals get all the information about their job through internet or the company itself. But the Labor migrant is ignorant and lacks access to information, so they totally rely on the recruiting agencies. Whatever the recruiting agency say, the migrant believes. This concerns both men and women. Only once they reach their country of destination, do they know exactly the conditions of the job they have applied for. Sometimes, the work contract they receive after they migrate and after going will be different from the work contract they received in the source country. Many workers realize that there are problems only after reaching the destination countries.

Week Three and Four:

1.       For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

Since our labour migrants are illiterate they use the Internet and mobile technology to better communicate with their families left behind and to rapidly respond to different demands: to transfer money, to gain information about their family. Since an internet call is cheaper, they make use of the internet to make calls to their family and friends. They also communicate their distressed situation through the internet and mobile. It is the only way they keep up contact with family, friends, etc.

2.       How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying?

Only the Government website gives the list of the recognized recruiting agencies and black listed agencies. All the migrant workers do not have access and knowledge about the internet only they use mobile phone to get the information. The recruiting agencies or the companies that have vacancies should maximize their efforts to advertise on the internet. Most of the time the information given in the internet is fraud and people are cheated. The government should insist that all recruiting companies publish the jobs on the internet and the process, contract so that the migrant workers are ensured job security before they leave. But we find this is absent in our country.

3. What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved?

-          Increased awareness to the diaspora actively seeking information on jobs abroad.

-          Proper National and International legislation to protect the migrant workers in the destination and the country of origin.

-          Multiplying and giving the opportunity for the direct recruitment and avoid the recruiting agencies where the workers are cheated.

-          To have a separate ministry in the State to deal with the problems of the migrant workers.

-          Regularize the activities of the Indian embassy in the destination countries.

-          Encourage more organizations to work for the migrant works in the destination countries.

Sr. Josephine Amala Valarmathi, ICM
Migrant Forum India- Tamil nadu
National Domestic Workers Movement( NDWM)
mjavalar@gmail.com

I think you make some good points about the fact that some large reurciters are often governed by profit margins (and not necessarily their client’s or worker’s needs), forcing account managers to spread themselves very thin indeed; however, their clients often seem to accept this type of ‘service’ knowing full well the USP’s are built around low charge rates.In my experiences I have witnessed some atrocious service levels by both large and small agencies, the levels being influenced somewhat by the account managers themselves. I suppose it’s
obvious that if one party is likely to lose out in the ‘client, worker, agency’ equation it’s probably going to be the worker because they have less control regarding the outcome.I suppose there will always be those clients that prefer the larger agencies USP’s and those that prefer the smaller agencies, and those markets will overlap from time to time due to economic conditions, legislation, etc, etc.

 

Given below is a brief response to the first three questions asked from the organisation I represent, Community Development Services (CDS) Sri Lanka.

1/ What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into?

The very initial decision making process begins at home with your spouse and family. Some may take it a little further by wanting to talk with the "Grama Sevaka" or village headman. However, the labour migration product in Sri Lanka is well developed with a dedicated Ministry and a dedicated body namely the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to serve the needs of the migrant worker. The SLBFE is decentralised to some reasonable extent where migrant workers can access services in the provinces. These centers provide info on recruiting agencies, process management, etc.

There is also the representative of the recruiting agent known as the sub agent who travels to the provinces and collects candidates for recruitment. In the past there have been many bogus deals and inappropriate ways in which these folks did their business. To a large extent this is controlled through the law and the SLBFE themselves policing this process. The SLBFE also conducts training sessions in their centres for migrant workers. It has now become mandatory that migrant workers must undergo these training sessions. For example a migrant domestic worker training is for 14 days in which one is taught about basic foreign (Arabic) language, housekeeping skills, cooking, appliance use, cleanliness and hygiene, savings, HIV101, family left behind etc. However there is little told about rights, foreign culture, foreign labour laws, the mandatory health test including the HIV test etc.

 2/ What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

 Most jobs that come through foreign agents to the local recruiting agent has to be verified by the Sri Lanka consulate in the host country. It is only then that the job is made official. The local agent will then have to register the job/s with the SLBFE and obtain a registration number. It is only then that the local recruitment agent can advertise the positions in the local print and electronic media.

The weekly national newspapers have dedicated section featuring foreign jobs. Some agents also place ads on prime time television and radio. These job fields are also registered with the job agents association's official website and some in the SLBFE website.

There are also international placement sites for professional job categories that are increasingly being made popular in Sri Lanka. IT savvy employee prospects scan these sites for online applications and registration.

The other form of recruitment is through friends and relatives who are already in overseas placement. They would entice their employers to consider direct applications for placement.

 3/  What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?

In Sri Lanka the formal source of information is the SLBFE. Their credibility is not questioned. There are over 600 registered foreign recruiting agencies in the country. Not all are reliable. One could check their reliability through the SLBFE or the agents association known as ALFEA. One has to use his/her gut to gauge credibility of online recruiting services. As most if not all job placements that come through Sri Lanka Consulate verification for the Gulf are registered with the SLBFE, migrant workers should take comfort about their credibility.

  

Best wishes,

Andrew Samuel

Community Development Services (CDS)

Sri lanka 

 

FRANCAIS (version originale):

Membres de la Communauté de pratique,

C’est avec beaucoup de retard que j’ai pris connaissance de l’initiative et de la discussion en ligne. J’aimerai s tout d’abord saluer cette nouvelle opportunité offerte aux bonnes volontés intéressées par la migration. Comme vous le savez, de nos jours, la migration est devenue un phénomène mondial de grande portée, ses retombées sont d’une importance capitale et ce pour tous les acteurs. Il devient impératif de s’y intéresser de près et voir ensemble toutes les actions susceptibles de l’organiser et surtout de régulariser la situation de ceux qui se trouvent dans des situations difficiles.

Discussion Semaines trois et quatre

1. Dans quel but l’internet ou la technologie mobile sont-ils actuellement utilisés par les travailleurs migrants?

Il s’agit des moyens de communications les plus utilisés à l’heure actuelle. Ils permettent aux travailleurs migrants de rester en contact avec les siens restés au terroir, mais surtout de partager avec eux les souffrances, tout comme ils permettent la recherche d’opportunités d’emploi, d’intégration et d’insertion dans les pays d’accueil.

2. Comment l’internet ou la téléphonie mobile pourraient-ils être utilisés pour disséminer des informations à propos des agences, des processus de recrutement, et des emplois auxquels les migrants postulent?

Ces moyens peuvent servir à disséminer des informations si les services de migration s’y réfèrent en diffusant des données crédibles et destinées à soulager l’endurance des travailleurs migrants.

3. Quelles sont les contraintes potentielles de ces moyens d’information et comment pourraient-ils être améliorés ?

Parmi les contraintes nous citons :

  • Difficultés d’accès aux sources d’informations
  • Difficultés de connexion pour les travailleurs migrants, qui pour la majorité vivent avec des moyens dérisoires.

 

Moctar Ould M’khaitir

Confédération Libre des Travailleurs de Mauritanie (CLTM)- Mauritanie



ENGLISH:

Dear Community of Practice Members,

I have only recently heard about the Joint Migration and Development Initiative and the online discussion it launched.

First of all, I would like to welcome this new opportunity given to all those who are interested in migration and who are willing to get involved.

Nowadays- as you know- migration has become a far-reaching worldwide phenomenon; its effects are of paramount importance to all actors involved.
Therefore, it has become imperative to take an interest in the topic of migration and to have a close look at all the activities that could be implemented to organize the migration flows or to help those who find themselves in difficult situations.

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

Nowadays, Internet and mobile technology are the most commonly used means of communication. They allow migrant workers to stay in touch with their families left behind, but also to share their difficulties with them. These means also allow migrant workers to search for job opportunities and help them to integrate within the countries of destination. 

2. How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying?

Internet and mobile technology can be used to disseminate information when migration services use them to disseminate credible information aimed at bringing relief to migrant workers. 

3. What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved? 

Constraints include:

-          Lack of access to information sources;

-          Difficulty for migrant workers- most of them having very few resources-  to access the internet.

Moctar Ould M’khaitir

Confédération Libre des Travailleurs de Mauritanie (CLTM)- Mauritania.

 

Dear Community of Practice Members,

As Vice President of the Migrants Rights Council ( MRC - India ), I am giving information about Unskilled, Semi Skilled and Skilled male workers in Construction and other service sectors & female domestic workers who are going to Gulf & other countries from Andhra Pradesh a Southern State of India.

Internal & International migration is an important livelihood option for poor Indians.Mobility of people in search of green pastures has been conditioned by various factors.

Questions:

Week One and Two:

1. What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into?

Prospective emigrants are depending on senior migrants to get the information about the destination country.

2. What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies ? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

Most of the job aspirants are depending on "Sub Agents" ( Mediators between the Registered Recruiting Agents & The Prospective emigrants ). Sometimes Sub Agents can be their relatives, friends who is already in destination country doing a job there.

3. What methods are available to migrant workers to access the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?

Knowing the existing situation through their relatives, friends who are working abroad and a kind of good faith is the credibility.

4.How does the above vary by region and between men and women wo rkers?

Mostly men & women are using the same methods to go abroad.

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is Internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

Most of the prospective emigrants don't know how to use the Internet, but they are approaching Internet Cafes to send their copy of passport, photos and related documents to the Agents, Sub Agents. After getting the visa they are taking the copy of visa from the Internet Cafe.

2. How could Internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment process, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying?

Some Countries visa information is available Online, Prospective emigrants can check the  the visa status, whether it is genuine or fake.

3.What are some of the possible constraints to these methods of information sharing and how could they be improved?

If the recruitment process is Online and available to job seekers, cheating could be prevented.

Mandha Bheem Reddy 

Migrants Rights Council (MRC)
(A member in Migrants Forum in Asia )
Hyderabad, AP,India

 

Dear Community of Practice Members,

Please find below MIGRANT's Contribution to the E-discussion "Migrant workers and Recruitment processes: What practices, what opportunities and challenges?".

Migrants are highly-represented in temporary jobs, whether they are in the country of destination for short or extended periods. Agencies often facilitate migrant workers finding jobs and accommodation in more developed countries, in the US, Europe, the Gulf States or elsewhere. The role of PrEA once the worker has arrived differs from that of agencies facilitating the movement of workers across national borders, which involves documentation, travel, immigration, work and residence permits, accommodation and employment in the receiving country.  Some PrEA facilitate the migration of workers from one country to another and help to ensure decent work; but some provide poor services to their clients for exorbitant fees and give the industry a bad name.[1]

This e-discussion involved an exploration of two topics:

1. The methods used by migrant workers to gain information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which they are applying;

2. As workers are migrating in increasingly ‘wired’ environments with internet penetration and mobile technology enhancing access to information, the e-discussion aims to understand whether IT is helping migrants to gain access to reliable information throughout the recruitment process.

Week One and Two:

1.  What are the most common methods used by migrant workers to gather information about the situation that they are moving into?

The preeminent “attraction factor” is the phone call from a family member working already abroad, who is usually the main source of information of migrant workers. Decisions are based largely on evaluation of the pros and con of migration – not just for the migrant him or herself but also for the family unit. Decisions are also shaped by the types and range of information available to potential migrants and their families and their knowledge of and access to support structures in the countries of origin and destination.

Nowadays, Internet plays a crucial role especially for young migrants, more “formal” channels of communication for migration are still needed in many countries of origin and information about migration possibilities are still invisible and therefore, this broadens the possibilities of obtaining misleading and fraudulent information which in some case, may lead into human trafficking and smuggling.

For example, increasingly, difficulties in regulation and monitoring have arisen from Private Employment Agencies (PrEA) operating on the Internet. PrEA operating online, offer a wide range of services from classical job placement activities (fixed-term or temporary) to recruitment in other areas, such as au pairs, model agencies, etc. Since Internet based PrEA have no physical infrastructure, they are difficult to monitor. A similar problem also prevails in the context of businesses based in, and operating from, another country outside the scope of application of national regulations. Many PrEA are engaged in the recruitment of migrant workers for jobs abroad. However, as these PrEA operate from abroad, it is difficult to hold them accountable for abuses occurring in the recruitment process.

Poverty in some communities of origin is also a major push factor. For migrants, the main reason for working abroad is the lack of income earning opportunities at home and the potential of earning several time higher incomes abroad. Due to existing gender inequalities and past and present discrimination against women and girls in society and the labour market, women as compared to men often have fewer prospects of finding gainful employment or are unable to secure stable employment at home. In the recent decades, women migration has became an important survival strategy or risk aversion strategy, poor families encourage female members to work abroad and to send remittances home for the support of those left behind – especially aged parents, young children and siblings going to school.  Therefore, it is important when planning a communication strategy towards better informing potential migrants becomes more and more important to provide information that can be relevant to both women and men, and that tackles the different challenges both gender face.

This information also needs to be sensitive to the knowledge and cultural background of the potential migrants, along with the deep necessities that some very vulnerable potential migrants may face. The “one-fits-to-all” information provision can be very dangerous and even, increase the risks of the potential migrant if the information is not delivered in a clear way for all potential migrants.  For example, there are differentiated challenges, women and men, or youth need to be aware of in a language and jargon that all targeted groups may understand with the needed clarity. Confusing and misleading messages may lead to an un-safe and more vulnerable migration. 

Migrants use whatever information is available to them in order to decide on the appropriateness and costs and benefits of migration for themselves or their family members. Information is also critical to prevent trafficking – since trafficking involves misinformation, deception and ignorance. Information needs vary, depending on the stage of the migration process. Some kinds of information are more critical at the decision-making stage before the commitment to migrate has actually been made. Other kinds of information are more relevant to migrant workers who have already made their decision.

In conclusion, information is usually shaped by the way the community, the media, returning migrants and recruitment agents portray the migration process and the living and working conditions in foreign countries:

•    Recruitment agents and traffickers provide misleading information about job offers, conditions of work, the nature and type of the jobs, wages and benefits;

•    returning migrants often give a very rosy picture of their experience, or are reluctant to publicly display the negative sides of their migration experience or the real nature of their work abroad;

•    in the gender aspect for example, the information provided by male migrant workers might not always be relevant to potential female migrants

Consequently, formal channels of information, regulation and enforcement of PrEA are required when aiming at protecting migrant worker’s rights.

2. What formal or organized opportunities are available to migrant workers to access information about job opportunities and recruitment agencies? Similarly, what informal opportunities exist?

The ILO Migration for Employment Convention (Revised), 1949 (No.97) provides that “each Member for which this Convention is in force undertakes to maintain, or satisfy itself that there is maintained, an adequate and free service to assist migrants for employment, and in particular to provide them with accurate information” (Article 2); and “undertakes that it will as far as national laws and regulations permit, take all appropriate steps against misleading propaganda relating to emigration and immigration”(Article 3).

On the other hand, the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, 1990 is also very specific on the information needs of migrants and their families:

Article 33 - Migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to be informed by the State of origin, the State of employment or the State of transit as the case may be concerning (a) Their rights arising out of the present Convention; (b) The conditions of their admission, their rights and obligations under the law and practice of the State concerned and such other matters as will enable them to comply with administrative or other formalities in that State.

Article 37 - Before their departure, or at the latest at the time of their admission to the State of employment, migrant workers and members of their families shall have the right to be fully informed by the State of origin or the State of employment, as appropriate, of all conditions applicable to their admission and particularly those concerning their stay and the remunerated activities (…)

Article 65 -States Parties shall maintain appropriate services to deal with questions concerning international migration of workers and members of their families. Their functions shall include, inter alia: (c) The provision of information and appropriate assistance to migrant workers and members of their families regarding requisite authorizations and formalities (....)   Article 68 - States Parties, including States of transit, shall collaborate with a view to preventing and eliminating illegal or clandestine movements and employment of migrant workers  (…)

The creation of formal channels is also further explained in ILO’s Convention 181: which regulates PrEA, which have a great potential to be the most current information channel – formal – in today’s migration. In the 1990s, the ILO?s tripartite constituents in the International Labour Conference voted for Convention No. 181, which aims “to allow the operation of private employment agencies as well as the protection of the workers using their services” (Article 2). Employers acknowledged that it represented major progress over the Fee-Charging Employment Agencies Convention (Revised), 1949 (No. 96), and that recognition of PrEA? role could not be obtained without regulation, such as licensing, certification, prohibition of charging fees to workers (apart from certain exceptions), and establishing respective responsibilities of employment agencies and user enterprises regarding agency work. Global Unions’ position on temporary agency work in general is much less favourable than their stance as regards the Convention. Good practice in regulation and effective national legislation includes clearly defining the term “private employment agency”, determining basic requirements for the legitimate operation of PrEA, and ensuring governments’s capacity to enforce such provisions.

3. What methods are available to migrant workers to assess the credibility of the information they receive from both formal and informal sources?  

 A good method which could be available to migrants to access credible information is to assess the information at all  stages of the migration process.  For example, in the Philippines, the Orientation Course for Filipino Migrant Workers, conducted by Unlad Kabayan (Migrant Services Foundation Inc.) identified the following migration stages: (More information on this stage-driven method in Preventing Discrimination, Exploitation and Abuse of Women Migrant Workers An Information Guide Booklet 2 - Decision-making and preparing for employment abroad)

1.   @Recruitment: defined as the engagement of a person in one territory on behalf of an employer in another country. It covers direct engagement by an employer, or his or her representative, as well as operations conducted by intermediaries, including public and private recruitment bodies. It refers to a process of hiring for a definite job or a promise by a recruiter to find a job for a potential migrant worker.

2.   @Pre-departure: defined as the stage in which the migrant prepares to travel. This is the stage in which the migrant is informed about the terms and conditions of the work contract and what to expect in the foreign work place. Many problems can be avoided when there is proper pre-departure preparation and orientation training.

3.   @The journey: referred to as the crucial stage for many migrants, since travelling to a new and unfamiliar destination might put the migrants at the mercy of the transport agent. The journey may be long or short, risky and dangerous or safe and convenient. It may be legal or illegal.

4.   @Arrival and placement: deals with the kind of assistance host countries have to provide to arriving migrants, such as the provision of medical facilities and hygienic conditions upon arrival. Host countries should also assure that migrants are not discriminated against or intimidated by immigration officers. Clear protocols of the immigration services should be provided in each country, since unfortunately the lack of regulation in this regards facilitate the misguidance or abuse in worst cases.

5.   @Work: referred to as the ultimate objective of the migrant workers. The information deals with the provisions of the work contract. It refers to international standards and national labour laws that define the rights and obligations of worker and employer.

6.   @Termination: referred to as a crucial and often difficult stage in the life of any worker and most especially for migrants, who’s life in the country of destination is usually more “attached” his or her work since it is the main purpose of his or her place of residence. Depending on the reason for termination – voluntary or not – termination may be welcome or unwelcome. The information refers to various forms of termination and international standards providing for due process in the case of termination.

 7.   @Re-entry: is the final phase in the life of a migrant. The migrant worker is required to return home and re-enter the society in which she used to live before. Depending on whether she was prepared well for re-entry, this phase can be looked upon with anticipation or a lot of misgiving. Most migrant workers pay little attention to the re-entry phase.

4. How do the above vary by region and between men and women workers?

The labour migration process can enhance earning opportunities for men, women and youth, autonomy and empowerment and, thereby, change gender roles and responsibilities and contribute to gender equality. For example, women migrants are able to achieve their goals and may gain comparatively more than male migrants, not so much in terms of income, but in status and position back home. Although they may earn less than male migrants and they usually work in non-regulated sectors of the labour market, they are often able to improve the economic position of their family and their own status, independence and decision-making power within the family. They may also be able to have a better chance in the local labour market upon return and to earn money to start their own business.

For example, in Europe, after substantial migration from other continents on a more permanent basis, migration patterns have changed in recent years, with the accession of new EU Member States in 2004 and 2007, free movement of people within the EU, and rapid growth in agency work among intra-European migrants. Migration patterns are often more fluid, temporary and driven by specific work opportunities, because return migration is easier and cheaper. If job opportunities shrink, migrants (whether agency workers or not) can return home or move to another EU country. As migrants can travel freely in the EU, and do not require work permits, tracking temporary labour migration is problematic. The ILO has recognized, how in Europe and recent fast-growing economies in Asia for example, there has been expansion of private security services and consolidation of these services on a global level, which is likely to continue, particularly with global fiscal tightening and reductions in public services, including security personnel. Cleaning services are also subcontracted extensively in most sectors and this is projected to continue. In both areas of property services – security and cleaning – workers are typically low skilled and low paid.  These two occupations, largely represented by migrant workers, have certainly a clear gender aspect.  For example, in security a large population of young male can be exposed to security threads without the proper training and therefore, they can be exposing their lives. In cleaning, the workforce has a large percentage of immigrant, female and part-time workers, and many temporary agency staff.  Both professions require training and proper information.

When domestic workers are recruited from one country through PrEA to work in another country, and there can be problems with excessive fees being charged and few rights being accorded to such workers. International efforts are under way to enhance the regulation and monitoring of such PrEA in source and destination countries to prevent or redress unfair treatment. Discussions at the 2011 session of the International Labour Conference led to the adoption of the Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), which includes provisions on this issue in its Article 15:

Art 15: To effectively protect domestic workers, including migrant domestic workers, recruited or placed by PrEA, against abusive practices, each Member shall:

(a) determine the conditions governing the operation of private employment agencies recruiting or placing domestic workers, in accordance with national laws, regulations and practice;

(b) ensure that adequate machinery and procedures exist for the investigation of complaints, alleged abuses and fraudulent practices concerning the activities of private employment agencies in relation to domestic workers;

(c) adopt all necessary and appropriate measures, within its jurisdiction and, where appropriate, in collaboration with other Members, to provide adequate protection for and prevent abuses of domestic workers recruited or placed in its territory by private employment agencies. These shall include laws or regulations that specify the respective obligations of the private employment agency and the household towards the domestic worker and provide for penalties, including prohibition of those private employment agencies that engage in fraudulent practices and abuses;

(d) consider, where domestic workers are recruited in one country for work in another, concluding bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements to prevent abuses and fraudulent practices in recruitment, placement and employment; and

(e) take measures to ensure that fees charged by private employment agencies are not deducted from the remuneration of domestic workers.

In giving effect to each of the provisions of this Article, each Member shall consult with the most representative organizations of employers and workers and, where they exist, with organizations representative of domestic workers and those representative of employers of domestic workers.

Many of the concerns and issues raised, analysis and guidelines provided cut across gender and, sometimes, age.  Information could be relevant for all individual migrants, women and men; so that they can better understand the risks involved in labour migration, know their rights and are better able to protect them. Information should seek also to reach most vulnerable groups such children, girls and boys are often more vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. However, the greater vulnerability of children to exploitation and abuse and the particular physical, psychological and psychosocial harm suffered by trafficked children require that they be dealt with separately. 

Globally, some 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, according to a 2007 report from the U.S. State Department. Of that number, more than 70% are female and half are children. In 2009 United Nations report stated that around 20% of all trafficking victims are children.

Week Three and Four:

1. For what purposes is internet or mobile technology currently being used by migrant workers?

The world is being transformed by the globalization process. States, societies, economies and cultures in different regions of the world are becoming increasingly integrated and interdependent. New technologies make it possible for capital, goods, services, information and ideas to move quickly from one country and continent to another. Moreover, owing to the expansion of the global economy, millions of women and men and their children can now access better opportunities in life.

It has facilitated linkages between international labour markets through vast improvements in information and communications technology (ICT). The demand for high technical skills has expanded opportunities for the mobility of skilled labour. Concurrently, expanded trade reduces some need for migration by creating jobs in home countries. Virtual mobility enabled by ICT has similarly promoted outsourcing and more jobs in other regions.[2]

In this context, Internet and mobile technology could be used to could be promote and facilitate training and return of migrants, transfer of capital and technology by migrants, and migrant transnational business initiatives, for example.  Expatriates who remain abroad can also positively affect the development of origin countries, to which they contribute funds via remittances and transfer knowledge, technology and investments which serve to boost productivity and economic development. New technologies also allow more people to acquire the information they need to access the global labour market.  Therefore, this information technology, when well regulated, can be of great positive impact to development.

2. How could internet or mobile phone technology be used to disseminate information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying? 

Internet could play a key role in disseminating information about recruitment agencies, recruitment processes, and the job situations for which migrant workers are applying. This process could also be facilitated by Diaspora association as a way to social regulate the practices of such agents.  Scholars have identified 158 Diaspora knowledge networks globally in 2005, of which 101 were implementing Diaspora activities on line. Migrants themselves have formed associations and networks abroad of several types: student/scholarly networks, local associations of skilled expatriates, mentoring/venture capital networks and intellectual/scientific Diaspora networks. Some well-known ones are Arab Scientists and Technologists Abroad, the Colombian Red Caldas Network, the Global Korean Network, the Global Scots Network, the Iranian Scientific Information Network, the Philippines Brain Gain Network, Polish Scientists Abroad, the South African Network of Skills Abroad and the Tunisian Scientific Consortium. 

Olga Correa

MIGRANT

International Labour Organization, Geneva


Further reading:

- AP-Magnet Discussion Paper, based on an online discussion - Improving and Regulating Recruitment Practices in Asia and the Pacific-  ILO, April 2011.  You can access this Discussion Paper here.

- ILO’s key Publications on Migrant Workers and Recruitment Processes

ILO (2007) ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration. Non-binding principles and guidelines for a rights-based approach to labour migration. International Labour Organization – Geneva

___(2011) Private employment agencies, promotion of decent work and improving the functioning of labour markets in private services sectors. Issues paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum on the Role of Private Employment Agencies in Promoting Decent Work and Improving the Functioning of Labour Markets in Private Services Sectors (18–19 October 2011) Geneva, 2011 ILO’s Sectoral Activities Programme GDFPSS/2011

___(2010). International labour migration: a rights-based approach, International Labour Office, Geneva: ILO.

___ (2008) Guide to private employment agencies : regulation, monitoring and enforcement.International Labour Office. 

___ (2003). Preventing discrimination, exploitation and abuse of women migrant workers : an information guide. (Geneva, ILO). Available at: Booklet 1, Booklet 2, Booklet 3, Booklet 4, Booklet 5. 

Kuptsch, C. (ed.) (2006). Merchants of labour. Geneva, ILO, Institute for Labour Studies. 

Linden, M. (2006) Trafficking for forced labour: how to monitor the recruitment of migrant workers: training manual. ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour. Geneva.

Lowell, L.B. and A.M. Findlay (2002). “Migration of highly skilled persons from developing countries: Impact and policy responses – Synthesis report”, International Migration Papers No. 44. Geneva, International Labour Office.



[1] Labour migration in a globalizing world – in ILO’s International labour migration A rights-based approach  2010, pp. 12 (http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/migrant/download/rights_based_approach.pdf)

[2] Private employment agencies, promotion of decent work and improving the functioning of labour markets in private services sectors. Issues paper for discussion at the Global Dialogue Forum on the Role of Private Employment Agencies in Promoting Decent Work and Improving the Functioning of Labour Markets in Private Services Sectors (18–19 October 2011) Geneva, 2011 ILO’s Sectoral Activities Programme GDFPSS/2011