Migrant Forum in Asia Statement at the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference

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The International Labour Organization (ILO) organizes the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva every year in June, where conventions and recommendations are crafted and adopted. Also known as the parliament of Labour, the conference also makes decisions about the ILO’s general policy, work programme and budget. From 30 May to 10 June, Government, Employers’ and Workers’ representatives from 187 member States discuss a series of world of work issues including global supply chains; decent work for peace, security and disaster resilience, as well as the impact of the ILO Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. Delegates will also consider amendments to the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention and review the report of the Director-General on poverty.

Migrant Forum in Asia participated in the 105th session of the ILC with a delegation from the Philippines, United Arab Emirates, India and Malaysia.
MFA’s intervention at the ILC focused on reforming the recruitment industry, ensuring workers do not pay recruitment fees and addressing labour and human rights violations in the global supply chain.  An excerpt of MFA’s statement in the ILC is below:

With respect to the irregularities and malpractices in the recruitment process, which puts migrant workers in situations of forced labour and debt bondage, efforts to reform the recruitment industry should be further intensified. We must strive to achieve zero recruitment fees. No migrant worker should pay to secure a decent job. Recruitment agencies must adhere to ILO Convention 181 which states that recruitment fees should be shouldered by employers, not workers. Making this as a norm will not only benefit their businesses, but also drive criminality out of the system. Zero fees increase fair competition, improve recruitment practices, which reflect business needs and expectations of both employer and employee, and above all reduce economic burden leading to freedom from debt and financial exploitation.

The full statement can be accessed here: ILC 2016 MFA statement final