ILO launches 2018 global media competition on labour migration and fair recruitment

The international competition aims at encouraging quality reporting on labour migration and recruitment of migrant workers.

Media advisory | Global | 14 September 2018
GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) is launching the fourth global media competition to recognize exemplary media coverage on labour migration. This year, the competition focuses on labour migration and the fair recruitment of migrant workers.

The objective is to encourage quality reporting on labour migration and recruitment-related issues. Such reporting is all the more significant as media often promotes a toxic public narrative based on misperceptions with respect to nationality, national origin, gender and migratory status, reinforcing prejudice, intolerance and stigmatization against migrant workers and their families.

While not overlooking the negative aspects (e.g. often a hard reality of exploitation and violation of human and labour rights), applicants are also encouraged to highlight the positive contribution of migrant workers to countries of origin, transit, and destination as well as how fair and transparent recruitment practices can contribute to make migration a positive experience for all.

The 2018 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration will be contributing to the UN TOGETHER campaign ( which has the purpose of encouraging global action in promoting non-discrimination and addressing the problem of rising xenophobia against refugees and migrants. All 193 Member States of the United Nations have committed to implementing the TOGETHER Campaign which will run until the end of 2018, when the UNGA is expected to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees.

The 2018 global media competition on labour migration is organized by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Organization of Employers, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Federation of Journalists, Equal Times, Solidarity Center, Human Rights Watch, and Migrant Forum in Asia, as well as the International Training Centre of the ILO. This year's competition is organized with the support of the EU funded project “Global Action to Improve the Recruitment Framework of Labour Migration (REFRAME) and the SDC funded project “Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment” (FAIR)"

The competition starts on 14 September 2018 and closes on 31 October 2018. Professional journalists and photographers are invited to submit a maximum of two entries, to any of the following two categories:
  • Media reports (online, print articles and radio production)
  • Photo essay/multimedia
Articles should not exceed 8000 words and radio production should not be longer than 10 minutes. Submissions must have been published between 1 June 2017 and 31 October 2018 to qualify.

Entries submitted should address either one of the following 2 thematic areas: (i) Labour migration aspects (migrant workers’ contribution to the social and economic development of countries of origin and destination, the protection of their labour rights, the recognition of their skills, their labour market integration, their social protection, migrant workers in an irregular situation, their working conditions (particularly their wages, working time and occupational safety and health, migrant workers in the informal economy, their trade union rights, forced labour, child labour, and trafficking situations); or (ii) Fair recruitment of migrant workers (guided by the General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment ). Journalists are strongly encouraged to produce entries that shed light on the realities of processes of recruitment of migrant workers as well as on the positive aspects of fair and transparent recruitment practices.

Refugees and displaced persons, where they are employed as workers outside their own countries, are considered migrant workers. As such, submissions covering international migrant workers and refugees (participating in labour markets outside their own countries) will be accepted.


A total of four winners (one per category, per thematic area) will receive $1,000 USD each. Winning entries will be featured on ILO website and widely promoted as an example of good journalism.


To enter the competition, please fill in the online entry form before 31 October 2018 (latest 23:59, Central European Time). Entries are accepted in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. Entries in other languages will be accepted provided that the applicant presents a faithful translation in one of the three languages mentioned above. Winners will be officially announced on 18 December to mark International Migrants Day. For further enquiries, please contact:

Judgement Criteria

A panel of 4 to 5 distinguished judges and the ILO will evaluate the top ten entries from each of the above-mentioned two categories. The decision of the ILO and judges on all matters relating to the contest is final, and no correspondence will be entered into at any stage. The ILO encourages entries that cover different aspects of labour migration and, as much as possible, reflect views of various concerned parties: government, employers, trade unions and migrant workers.

In addition to ensuring that competition submissions are aligned with the basic ethics of journalism and in line with the topic covered by the competition, all submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Contributes to a better understanding of labour migration issues, and of migrants and refugees’ situation in the labour market; as well as of the reality of practices of  recruitment of migrant workers;
  • Portrays a balanced opinion in reflecting the views of various stakeholders (migrant workers, governments, employers, labour recruiters and trade unions);
  • Presents creative solutions to overcome labour protection and labour market integration challenges (e.g. if possible comparing the situation before and after the introduction of new legislation, a new migration policy, a bilateral agreement, etc.);
  • Helps combat stereotypes, xenophobia or discrimination in the labour market;
  • In particular, with respect to the thematic area of labour migration:
    • Portrays the contribution of men and women migrant workers to the social and economic development of countries of origin and destination (e.g. filling labour and skills needs at all skill levels, contributing to the sustainability of social security systems, expanding the exchange of knowledge, technology, skills and commercial ties, and contributing to job creation as consumers of goods and services and tax payers, but also as micro-enterprise entrepreneurs);
    • Sheds light on success stories and positive practices, presenting, as much as possible the positive results of fair labour migration governance (e.g. promoting non-discrimination and equality of treatment/opportunities principles in line with ILO standards, as well as labour market integration, recognition of skills, and labour protection of all migrant workers and their family members);
    • Shows labour migration challenges in terms of decent work deficits throughout the migration process, such as the high migration costs faced by workers,  the lack of social protection, the situation of migrant workers in an irregular situation, their working conditions (particularly their wages, working time and occupational safety and health), migrant workers in the informal economy, lack of trade union rights, migrants in forced labour, child labour and trafficking situations, as well as migrant workers affected by discrimination, racism and xenophobia;
  • In particular, with respect to the thematic area of fair recruitment applicants are encouraged to:
    • Refer to international labour standards related to fair recruitment in line with the ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative and the ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment;
    • Reflect on the challenges faced by men and women workers during their recruitment processes as well as on the impact of unfair recruitment practices on migrant workers’ working and living conditions;
    • Portray fair recruitment as an important element of the commitment by the international community to reduce labour migration costs;
  • Entries should preferably help in promoting a positive impression on labour migration or help correct negative impressions and misperceptions on labour migration;
  • Gathers material using first hand sources;
  • Includes an English, French or Spanish translation which must be faithful to the original meaning if parts, or all, of the submitted entry are in another language;
  • Protects vulnerable groups, sources and other sensitive components of the story by not providing unnecessary information that could risk harming them (including visual identities, names, locations etc.);
  • Uses a rights-based terminology;
  • Participants who use the terms “illegal migrant” in their work will be disqualified since this term is considered to “stigmatize” migrants and their families1 . Participants are requested to utilize the following terms: “non-documented”, “migrant workers in an irregular situation”, “irregular status”, or “migrants in an irregular situation”. Please refer to the ILO media glossary  to know more about rights-based terminologies and language that the UN supports.