The Safe and Fair Programme is part of the multi-year EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls. It is implemented by the ILO and UN Women with a focus on empowering of women migrant workers. It aims at strengthening women migrant workers’ leadership, voice, and agency through increased engagement with governments, workers and employers organizations as well as women and migrant networks.
the accumulation of stress and fatigue might reduce the accuracy of work and increase the possibility of human error, heightening the risk of work injuries and accidents. “Unfortunately, the understanding about the importance of mental health and well-being as well as adequate psycho-social services and support are still lacking. ."Sinthia Harkrisnowo, ILO’s National Project Coordinator for Safe and Fair
The online seminar aimed to foster solidarity and build psycho-social support among women migrant workers and front line service providers. Under the pandemic, migrant workers, especially women, are increasingly reporting health and safety issues at the workplace, as well as increased discrimination, isolation, and mistreatment from employers and communities. Some have been threatened with contract termination or made to accept reduced or longer working hours and/or salary deductions. They have also reported difficulties’ in meeting their basic needs, seeking essential services, and accessing social support. Such working arrangements and conditions have caused new psychosocial challenges for the health and well-being of workers.
The ILO paper on “Managing Work-Related Psychosocial Risks during the COVID-19 Pandemic” (ILO LABADMIN/OSH, 2020) showed, that if they are not appropriately assessed and managed, psychosocial risks may lead to physical and mental health problems. Such problems may have considerable impact on workplace productivity, through increased absenteeism, lower job engagement and reduced job performance (with respect to both the quality and quantity of work).
Sinthia Harkrisnowo, ILO’s National Project Coordinator for Safe and Fair, stated that the accumulation of stress and fatigue might reduce the accuracy of work and increase the possibility of human error, heightening the risk of work injuries and accidents. “Unfortunately, the understanding about the importance of mental health and well-being as well as adequate psycho-social services and support are still lacking. Social support is an important resource for reducing the detrimental effects of stress on health outcomes. It also has a positive effect on job satisfaction. Coping with stress in a healthy way will thus make migrant workers and their communities more resilient,” she said.
In early 2020, ASEAN labour migration flows were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic as countries of destination and origin faced health, economic, and social crisis. The Safe and Fair programme calls for all government, businesses and workers organizations to build stronger labour rights and social protection systems for all workers regardless of their status. In addition, the programme also calls for more effective implementation of international labour standards, specifically on occupational safety and health for workers as well as business continuity strategies. as they have become more relevant to overcome the wider transmission of the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences.