Employers of domestic workers

  1. Learn more about our campaign work with employers of domestic workers

For more information

Sophia Kagan
Chief Technical Adviser
FAIRWAY Project
(t): +961-1-752400
(e): kagan@ilo.org

Eliza Marks
Technical Officer
FAIRWAY Project
(t): +961-1-752400
(e): marks@ilo.org

Regional Fair Migration Project in the Middle East (FAIRWAY)

© Leila Alaoui / ILO
The Middle East is recognized as one of the main destination regions for migrant workers globally – hosting more than 32 million migrants, mostly migrant workers. Migration to these wealthy countries has provided countless jobs and generated billions of dollars in remittances for migrant workers and their families. In offering the chance to learn new skills and escape poverty in the home country while helping to solve the large labour shortages in the Middle East, migration is generally welcomed by both origin and destination countries. However, the complicated and expensive processes associated with migrating for work have created a regime which lends itself to exploitative recruitment and working conditions for migrant workers. Low skilled workers in particular – often from Asia and Africa – face multiple decent work deficits.

The Regional Fair Migration Project in the Middle East (FAIRWAY project) supports implementation of the ILO Fair Migration Agenda in the region (endorsed by the Abu Dhabi Dialogue in November 2014), and other ILO projects in addressing the decent work deficits of migrant workers. In particular, the project promotes fair migration (including fair recruitment) and contributes to combating forced labour and trafficking for labour exploitation.

Strategy and Objectives

The FAIRWAY project has a three-pronged strategy to:
  1. Promote labour migration-related policy change for fair migration that is informed by evidence-based policy advice;
  2. support improved implementation of laws and policies by strengthening institutional mechanisms and operational modalities in target countries; and
  3. build a more conducive environment for decent work of male and female migrant workers by addressing discriminatory attitudes and actions towards migrant workers.
The project operates at the regional level and offers country-specific assistance and support (in Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates), with particular focus on the sectors in which low-skilled migrant workers predominate – construction and domestic work.

Timeframe: January 2016 - July 2018

Latest from FAIRWAY

  1. Video

    Employer-Migrant Worker Relationships in the Middle East

    10 August 2017

    The visa sponsorship system governs millions of migrant workers in the Middle East. Workers are tied to one sponsor or kafeel. In most countries the sponsor controls most aspects of their lives. This video – presented by the ILO FAIRWAY project and Migrant-Rights.Org – explores how the unequal relationship between sponsor and migrant worker can be addressed, and asks what are the added benefits.

  2. Brief

    Migrant workers in an irregular situation through no fault of their own: pathways and response options in the Arab States

    07 August 2017

    A migrant in an irregular situation or an undocumented migrant is someone who is not authorized to enter, stay or work in the country of destination. There are many pathways to an irregular situation in the Arab States, and migrants often have little control over the complex factors that determine their migration status. This short note on migrants in an irregular situation describes some of the common means through which migrant workers may end up in an irregular situation and proposes recommendations for governments in addressing this important issue.

  3. Press release

    ILO launches journalism fellowship to improve reporting on labour migration in the Arab States

    13 July 2017

    The programme – produced in partnership with the Ethical Journalism Network – targets journalists and digital media in order to change the narrative on migration in the region.