Migrant Forum in Asia
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Email: mfa@mfasia.org | Website: www.mfasia.org

Regional Conference on Recruitment Reform: Understanding Recruitment Fees and Cost

Migrant Forum in Asia organized a regional conference on recruitment reform from 15-16 December 2018 in Manila, Philippines. Representatives of civil society organizations and trade unions from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, and Sri Lanka participated in the two day program. The objectives of the two day program include the following:

1. Updating partners on global and regional processes linked to recruitment reform including among them:
a. The Global Compact for Migration
b. Results of the ILO tripartite meeting of experts on defining recruitment fees and cost
c. Regional Consultative Processes: the Abu Dhabi Dialogue and Colombo Process
2. Updating Partners on new policies, bilateral agreements and MOUs from the region
3. Developing a campaign plan on recruitment reform including advancing the work around the Migrant Recruitment Advisor and the Hamsa complaints mechanism.

The first day of the program focused on updating partners on global initiatives specifically the outcome of the Marrakesh Migration Week which included the Global Forum on Migration and Development as well as the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). Highlighted in the discussion was the need to look into the implementation follow-up and review of the GCM.

Updates were also provided on the outcome of the ILO tripartite meeting on understanding recruitment fees and cost held from 14-16 November 2018 in Geneva Switzerland. An overview of the ILO process was discussed as well as the findings on the global comparative study on the definition of recruitment fees and related cost. The outcome of the meeting, the negotiated draft definition of recruitment fees and cost was presented.

During the first day of the program participants also discussed the On The Level (OTL) Private Recruitment and Employment Agency Certification System, a system based on a set of cross-border recruitment principles and standards. The discussion aimed to provide understanding of practical implementation recruitment integrity standards that is currently being piloted in Asian Countries.

The second day of the program focused on updates on regional process, changes in national policy as well new bilateral agreements and MOUs among Asian countries. Updates were provided on the outcome of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) specifically on the initiatives on recruitment, the Comprehensive Information Orientation Program (CIOP) and recommendations around domestic workers. Updates were also provided on the Colombo Process, the outcome of the recent Colombo Process SOM.

The national updates specifically focused on the Bahrain government Flexi Permit system, changes in Malaysia’s policy around migration, and the recent MOU between the Governments of Nepal and Malaysia on labour migration.

The regional and national updates was followed by a discussion around the International Organization for Migration (IOM) International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS).

The afternoon sessions of the second day focused on developing a campaign on recruitment reform including advancing the work around the Migrant Recruitment Advisor and the HAMSA complaints mechanism. The participants discussed and developed country level plans to advance the advocacy on recruitment reform. Participants also discussed the importance of cross boarder collaboration and regional engagement in advocating for fair recruitment.

For more information please contact William Gois of the MFA Secretariat at: mfa@mfasia.org

Please see below for photos of the program




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MFA is a regional network of non-government organizations (NGOs), associations and trade unions of migrant workers, and individual advocates in Asia who are committed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant workers.

It is guided by a vision of an alternative world system based on respect for human rights and dignity, social justice, and gender equity, particularly for migrant workers.

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