In the current global recruitment model, migrant workers pay exorbitant recruitment fees to secure low paying jobs. As a result, migrant workers typically remain indebted for as much as a year or two before they are able to earn a living wage enabling them to sustain themselves and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an abrupt end to the deployment and employment of millions of migrant workers across the globe, effectively ending the source of income for many who are already indebted to agents, subagents, family members or small lenders back home.
The current situation caused by COVID-19 that exacerbates migrant vulnerabilities in terms of health, exploitation, freedom of movement and stigmatization. Assessing the challenges, reactions and lessons learnt from the pandemic, is is necessary to discuss and adress how to move to a post-COVID-19 context where ethical recruitment and the "employer pays" model is implemented. The pandemic has opened up an opportunity to move the recruitment reform agenda forward to build back better towards fair and ethical recruitment practices.
In line with understanding the impact of COVID-19 on recruitment of migrant workers, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is organizing a webinar: “Build Back Better: Advancing the Recruitment Reform Agenda Post COVID-19”.
The webinar will have the following objectives:
- Understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the recruitment of migrant workers
- Provide a venue to discuss how to build back better post-COVID-19 in line with advancing the ethical recruitment of migrant workers.
The webinar will attempt to answer the following questions:
- What is the current situation of migrant workers whose recruitment was affected by COVID-19?
- Are there policies or directives in place to address the issues of migrants who were not deployed?
- How will the recruitment industry transform as things move to the “new normal”? What changes will be expected in the recruitment industry?
- How can this situation be used as an opportunity to advance the recruitment reform agenda toward fair and ethical recruitment practices?
Participants: migrant civil society organizations, trade unions, private sector, international institutions including among othersrepresentatives from IOM and ILO.
Registration, Date and Time of Webinar:
Introduction and Overview of Webinar
We know that CSOs have been actively providing support and assistance to those who were repatriated. From the migrants you have assisted and supported, what are the biggest challenges they face? What proposals have you given to the government to address these challenges?
Given that a big number of migrants awaiting deployment were not able to leave the country and many more were sent home, how is the Nepalese government supporting migrant workers? Are there directives in place that can help address recruitment concerns e.g. reimbursement of recruitment fees for those who were not deployed?
Nepal Government Representative
How has COVID-19 affected your industry? How will the recruitment industry transform as things move to the “new normal”? What changes will be expected in the recruitment industry?
Private Sector Representative from Philippines
What has been the biggest impact of COVID-19 to businesses? How have you responded to the challenges brought about by the pandemic? ? How will the industry change as things move to the “new normal”?
Private Sector representative
IOM is drafting The Ethical Recruitment Roadmap based on multi-stakeholder consultations and inputs. The Ethical Recruitment Roadmap pinpoints necessary actions from key stakeholders to progress towards ethical recruitment and protection of migrant workers in international supply chains. The IOM will introduce the Ethical Recruitment Roadmap and its five key action points.
Maximillian Pottler, IOM CREST project manager
Closing and Wrap up
Chowdhury AbrarRefugee and Migratory Movements Unit (RMMRU) |
CSO representative from Bangladesh and chairperson of the Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration (BCSM)
Representative from PASEI (TBC)| Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI)
Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI), the association of private recruitment agencies from thePhilippines
the Nepali government representative (TBC)|
Government representative from Nepal
Mr Maximilian PottlerCREST Project Manager | International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Maximilian Pottler is currently a Project Manager at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), based at the Ho Chi Minh City, Vienam office. He currently leads the Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) project (2017-2022). He has been with IOM since 2013 and was previously posted in Geneva, Dhaka, Phnom Penh and Hanoi.