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International Migrants Day

ILO announces winners of the 2018 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration

Winning entries provide outstanding, balanced, reporting on labour migration and fair recruitment.

Press release | 18 December 2018
© S. Houttuln / S. Haaij / IRIN
GENEVA (ILO News) – To mark this year’s International Migrants Day on 18th December the International Labour Organization (ILO) has announced the four winners of its 2018 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration.

The ILO received more than 250 entries from 72 countries. The competition’s reviewing committee had the difficult task of creating a shortlist from many outstanding submissions. An independent panel of four prominent judges finally selected the following four winners in the two thematic areas:

Labour Migration

  1. Sarah Haaij and Saskia Houttuin (media report): “How weavers in Burkina Faso are now on Europe’s migration front line“. This entry looks at different aspects of migration in the Sahelian country, including efforts to create local decent work opportunities.
  2. Miguel Roth (photo essay/multimedia): “Las preguntas de Solomon“. This multimedia story (in Spanish) profiles Solomon, a Nigerian man starting a new life in Argentina, who, while facing difficulties in adapting to a new country and language, also enjoys the new opportunities before him.

Fair Recruitment

  1. Sophie Cousins and an anonymous contributor (media report), edited by Megan Clement: “Will migrant domestic workers in the Gulf ever be safe from abuse?” This entry tells the harrowing story of some domestic workers who were abused while working in Gulf countries and looks at efforts to prevent the exploitation of domestic workers recruited from abroad.
  2. Norman Zafra (photo essay/multimedia): “Obrero film” This multimedia project follows a group of Filipino construction workers who temporarily migrated to Christchurch, New Zealand, to help rebuild the city after the 2011 earthquake.
The aim of the competition is to promote a balanced discourse and quality reporting on labour migration and fair recruitment. This is of particular relevance to the recent adoption of the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, particularly its sixth objective; “Facilitate fair and ethical recruitment and safeguard conditions that ensure decent work.” The contest also promotes the ILO’s General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment, adopted in 2016.

“The movement of migrants and refugees continues to feature heavily in the media, albeit very often in a negative light,” said Michelle Leighton, Chief of the ILO’s Labour Migration Branch. “The Global Media Competition on Labour Migration is one way for the ILO to encourage balanced reporting that also highlights the positive impact of migration when the labour rights of migrant workers are protected and fair recruitment principles are in place.”

The global media competition is also a direct contribution to the UN TOGETHER campaign, which encourages global action by promoting non-discrimination and addressing growing xenophobia towards refugees and migrants.

The contest was organized 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 contest was also supported by the REFRAME and FAIR projects, as part of the ILO’s Fair Recruitment Initiative.


The International Labour Office recognizes the quality of the competition entries submitted. However, the responsibility for opinions expressed and names and terms used in the competition entries rests solely with their authors, and reproduction of the entries does not constitute an endorsement by the International Labour Office of the opinions expressed and names and terms used in them.