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Posts: 41
Discussion: Government-to-Government Recruitment
Started by Admin 4 years ago

BACKGROUND:

Globally, a number of migrant labour recruitment corridors are governed by government-to-government (G2G) agreements—for example, South Korea’s Employment Permit System (EPS), which facilitates labour migration to South Korea from 15 countries of origin; Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (CSAWP), which has facilitated labour migration to Canada from Mexico and the Caribbean since 1966. Such agreements are designed such that the governments of the origin and destination country facilitate the recruitment and deployment of workers.

However, human and labour rights protections are not always built into G2G agreements, as they are primarily designed with labour market needs as the priority. In addition, competition among countries of origin to secure places for their workers in destination country markets has been documented to result in government blacklisting, intimidation, and other unethical practices among government officials.

To develop our thinking and analysis on the benefits and drawbacks of the various G2G recruitment modalities, the Open Working Group on Labour Migration & Recruitment invites you to participate in our online discussion. We encourage you to consider the following questions and to include inputs on specific recruitment corridors.

Posts: 41
Admin replied 4 years ago...


QUESTION 1:

If you are working with migrant workers whose migration corridor is governed by a G2G agreement…

(A) What is the structure of the G2G agreement (e.g., bilateral agreement, memorandum of understanding, multilateral agreement, part of a trade agreement, etc.)? Please describe the nature of the agreement.

(B) How does the agreement work?

i. What is the path that the worker takes from country of origin to destination under the G2G agreement?
ii. What actors are involved?
iii. What are the roles of government workers in sending and receiving countries?
iv. How do recruiters operate under G2G agreements?

(C) Does the G2G agreement meet the needs of the workers?
i. What do you see as the major strengths of the agreement?
ii. What do you see as the major weaknesses of the agreement?


Posts: 41
Admin replied 4 years ago...


QUESTION 2:

Based on your experience, what are the key elements that a G2G agreement should contain to ensure both labour and human rights protections for migrant workers?


Posts: 41
Admin replied 4 years ago...


QUESTION 3:

Can you share copies of any G2G country agreements that hold promise for better policy and practice for migrant workers?
(note the "attach" function below if you wish to share documents directly on the forum)


Posts: 14
HOME replied 4 years ago...

Dear all,

Please find below HOME's contribution to the discussion.

Best wishes from Singapore,
Céline DERMINE

QUESTION 1: If you are working with migrant workers whose migration corridor is governed by a G2G agreement…

(A) What is the structure of the G2G agreement (e.g., bilateral agreement, memorandum of understanding, multilateral agreement, part of a trade agreement, etc.)? Please describe the nature of the agreement.

(B) How does the agreement work?

HOME is based in Singapore. The Singapore authorities have not signed any G2G agreement with countries of origin. HOME is very interested in getting more information on the South Korean approach and other G2G agreements though.

(C) Does the G2G agreement meet the needs of the workers?

i What do you see as the major strengths of the agreement?

As far as we know about the South Korean approach (EPS system), HOME sees the potential following strengths in G2G agreements:

1. The presence of transparent fees being charged by recruitment agencies. These agencies are supported by the government. These agencies help the foreign worker find opportunities and schedule interviews until they find employment.

2. The institution chooses competent workers. This maintains a consistent level of competency among the foreign workforce hired in South Korea. The workers have satisfactory skill level and language proficiency. The latter has a broad range of benefits that effect the employment and the rights of the foreign worker. First, there is better communications with the employer. This allows for a relationship to be built between the employer and employee. Both parties are able to accurately state their expectations and misunderstandings are less common. Second, it empowers the foreign worker. Language proficiency enables the worker to seek help from the different government agencies that have schemes to protect them. They are able to understand the process to seek help, the timeline and the administrative tasks required for their claims to be duly investigated. This allow workers to better understand their rights and the process to enforce it.

3. Compliance with Labour Law. The South Korean G2G System allows the implementation of equality between local and foreign workers on the application and observance of labour related laws and policies such as Labour Standards Act, Minimum Wage Act and Industrial Safety and Health Act. Also, medical claims under the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act may be made.

4. Employee’s Rights. The EPS system aims to remove discrimination against foreign workers and give them equal protection as workers. Therefore, the foreign workers benefit from national medical insurance and minimum wage.

ii. What do you see as the major weaknesses of the agreement?

Enforcement of the agreement might be an issue, although not only specific to G2G agreement.

QUESTION 2: Based on your experience, what are the key elements that a G2G agreement should contain to ensure both labour and human rights protections for migrant workers?

We believe the following elements are key points in respect of G2G agreements:

• Transparency in the entire recruitment process;
• Ethical recruitment agencies practices;
• No placement fee, no deduction of salary;
• Protection such as minimum salary, mandatory days off, possibility to change employer in case of lack of work or in case the employee and employer can’t get along well;
• Non discrimination: protection by the Employment laws in the countries of destination;
• Enforcing correct information given in advance about the nature of the job, conditions of work, living conditions, working hours and wages;
• Getting the worker to sign a contract in a language they are comfortable with, explaining the contract sufficiently;
• Empowering foreign workers by ensuring their language competency;
• No swapping of signed contracts for less favorable contracts in the countries of destination;
• Redress mechanisms available for migrant workers

QUESTION 3: Can you share copies of any G2G country agreements that hold promise for better policy and practice for migrant workers?
(note the "attach" function below if you wish to share documents directly on the forum)

HOME does not have copies of G2G agreements.


Posts: 41
Admin replied 4 years ago...

Thank you Céline and Karl for your responses!

Céline, we are currently finalizing a report specifically on EPS with our partners in South Korea. This will be shared publicly as soon as it is complete. It's interesting to look at the EPS and Canadian SAWP side-by-side, as the SAWP is a much older program and may give some warning signals for how G2G can degrade over time with the introduction of non-governmental players.

Karl and/or colleagues in the Americas, can anyone shed light on the role of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in recruiting in the Canadian program? I believe they are involved in facilitating recruitment from Guatemala to Canada under the SAWP. Any idea how this came to be? Is this the case in countries other than Guatemala? Do we know if this model exists elsewhere (in other regions or migration corridors)?


Posts: 1
Roula replied 4 years ago...

1- Thailand: MoU with the Burmese Government on the recruitment
MoU Laos and Cambodia for the recruitment of unskilled workers
2- Bangladesh: MoU with UAE, Jordan, Bilateral agreement Malaysia,
The bilateral agreement with Malaysia established an online registration and government lottery (4% get the job)
Normal processes for the other countries

3- Philippines : Placement of health care with Germany (bilateral agreement), domestic workers with KSA , MoU Korea, Taiwan, Canada, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, UAE (MoA), Bahrain (MoA), Japan (bilateral agreement, MoU)
Covers education in Germany (MWs must take pre-departure training and study in order to qualify for the job)
MoU with KSA covers minimum wage
All MWs have to pass the same passage (government agencies takes care of documents job availability, verification if job exists and the agency is licensed regulates the recruitment agency – can cancel a license)
The bilateral agreement with Japan: regulated the deployment of nurse and caregivers, established a mandatory language training before departure. MWs have to pass a national test within a set time frame, if they fail twice they are sent back to the Philippines.
The Agreement is unfavorable for Filipino workers.
the Filipino government doesn't have data on overseas workers and they are unable to locate them.


Lebanon has MoU with Philippines:
Conditions:
- Recruitment must be done through registered and licensed agencies. The MoU resulted in lifting the ban imposed by the Philippines
- MDW must be over 23 years
- MoU has specific provisions to protect MDWs from contract substitution
- Provides a mandatory Insurance

Strengths of G2G Agreements:
G2G Agreements allow governments of countries of origin to impose a minimum wage.
Bilateral agreements can be forged into multilateral agreement ASEAN, as a result bilateral agreements can be more accepted and more binding
Allows MWs and Civil Society to hold the government accountable to its obligations
MWs can claim their rights when their rights are violated
MWs can file a case of civil damages against recruitment agencies.

2- G2G should include provisions guaranteeing:
- no fees for workers
- Ethical recruitment
- Protection against violations- a mechanism in place
- Transparency in recruitment (documents- contracts…)
- Protection against deception, contract signed in his or her own language. Mother language should be used.
3- G2G agreements can be found on the following links:
http://www.poea.gov.ph/lmi_kiosk/labor_agreements.htm
http://www.poea.gov.ph/lmi/Bilateral%20Agreements/BLA_PH_Lebanon2012.pdf
http://www.syrleb.org/docs/agreements/11LABOR_AGREEMENTeng.pdf


Posts: 41
Admin replied 4 years ago...

Inputs from Open Forum: MICIC Initiative Side Event, Manila

- rights violations are not as much reported from workers under G2G, but could be that workers do not know where or how to report
-violations reported tend to be less severe than those reported for private recruitment
-


Posts: 41
Admin replied 4 years ago...

Nilimbar:
-Does EPS work well from the perspective of Bangladesh?
-Yes, it works well; but providing training for those who do not get recruited, because the quota is reached. Give up job opportunities at home to pursue opportunity in S. Korea
-same problems seen in Nepal
-for post of 100, 1,000 apply -- problem is that they leave their education and job opportunities and concentrate on possibility of going to S. Korea
-but it's still better than having nothing


Agnes: G2G Agreements have strengths and weaknesses; if there are weaknesses, what are proposed alternatives?
-Sumaiya: G2G can reduce costs, decrease vulnerability; but we are demanding that governments should monitor recruitment and costs of migration, focusing on human rights and labour rights in both origin and destination countries;

-Bangladesh and KSA MOU: Bangladesh government plays role of monitoring, but is empowering recruitment agencies to take care of processing of workers

Saiful: Possible alternatives - perhaps civil society should take on a recruitment role

Re. EPS South Korea
-crisis in human rights of migrant workers
-problem is the same in other countries of destination - this is nothing different
-e.g., sexual harassment, unpaid salaries, etc.
-last year, the UN Special Rapporteur visited S. Korea to investigate the situation and will report on the situation; civil society will respond the report
-before 2006, there was a trainee system - not workers, but students; tried to change this system - alternative system, but we don't know what a better model could be

-Critique of G2G is that government monopolizes recruitment
-recently adopted migration policy of Bangladesh - unlawful to monopolize recruitment and medical examinations


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