Strengthening Pakistani migrant workers’ awareness of their right to fair recruitment
- Responsible Organisations: Responsible organization: ILO in collaboration with Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), CSOs and Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ)
- ILO Regions: Asia and the Pacific
- Country(ies): Pakistan
- Thematic areas: Fair recruitment
- MLFLM: 13.
Emigration regulators in Pakistan view a more aware migrant workforce as crucial for protection from recruitment abuse. Within this context, the REFRAME Pakistan project engaged with the Pakistan Workers Federation (PWF), two civil society organizations and a group of influential media persons developed knowledge products and trained trainers (i.e. 25 briefing officers of the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE) and the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), staff of 30 community centers, 60 community change makers, 71 journalists) to cascade information and raise awareness on fair recruitment in the most common communities of origin of migrant workers in Pakistan. These knowledge products were written in simple language and include attention to employment contract terms, rights and responsibilities, and complaint mechanisms, and are aimed at empowering migrant workers and reducing the risk of recruitment irregularities.
Proof of impact/progress
Under the initiative, the awareness of thousands of (prospective) migrant workers has been raised on fair recruitment and safe migration as follows:
- Following training of trainers held in 2019, PWF disseminated an information booklet on fair recruitment and safe migration by convening information sessions at community and trade union forums, directly educating 4,500 potential/returned migrant workers and trade union members. In addition, thousands of community change makers were exposed to these materials through social media and the PWF website. In addition, PWF established 30 resource centres at its district offices to provide orientation and referral services to the intending/prospective migrant workers.
- Pursuant to training in 2019, five local partner organizations in Multan, Bahawalpur, Sialkot, Mardan and Swabi and 60 community change makers have cascaded awareness on fair recruitment and safe migration to more than 11,318 intending/returned migrant workers and their families and 825 community leaders. Over 89,000 persons were reached through word of mouth, social media and local Community Based organizations.
- 71 journalists/media influencers (including Editors, Bureau Chiefs and senior reporters) were trained on improving research and reporting on fair recruitment and forced labour. More than 35 quality stories/news articles have been produced and published in the national media since the training.
- Training of briefing officers of BEOE and NAVTC provided the opportunity to help around 2000-2500 departing migrant workers per day with accurate information on fair recruitment and safe migration.
Other promising features
Participation and representation
The practice provided the opportunity to directly interact with the prospective, intending and returned migrant workers and benefit from their active participation.
Migrant workers who were reached through the activities under this practice expressed the importance of continuing them as they continue to be relevant for future prospective migrants.
The strategy to engage with workers representatives and community change makers/leaders helped spread the information extensively, and has resulted in decisions on labour migration now being taken at family level, and following family dialogue. This enhanced thoroughness in decision-making may contribute to a reduced risk of abuse of migrants at the recruitment stage.
Staff of the Center for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) and community representatives have acquired sound institutional capacity, resource materials and tools to continue cascading information on fair recruitment in the future.