Migrant workers can now rate their recruitment agencies and warn fellow migrants of dangers through a new website that mirrors travel site TripAdvisor.
Migrant workers are often those at risk of human trafficking and forced labor as they have to pay large recruitment fees to agencies to secure them a job abroad. However, many end up in debt bondage or are placed with abusive employers.
The website, “Recruitment Advisor,” was launched this month in 4 languages — English, Indonesian, Tagalog, and Nepali — and there are already thousands of recruitment agencies listed in each country.
Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:
“One can choose a recruitment agency with good ratings,” said Ira Rachmawati from the Brussels-based International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), which runs the portal.
“We want to promote fair recruitment. If the agency is doing fair recruitments, they could contribute to helping migrant workers making an informed decision,” the project officer told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on Tuesday.
It has over 10,000 recruitment agencies listed on its website, and workers will be asked to review areas ranging from recruitment fees, to employment contract and working conditions.
A similar website was launched in 2014 for Mexican migrants working in the United States, but ITUC says Recruitment Advisor aims to be a truly global platform.
Still, some anti-trafficking campaigners would like recruiters — middlemen essentially — cut out from the system so that migrant workers are less vulnerable to exploitation.
Alex Ong from NGO Migrant Care, an advocacy group for Indonesian migrant workers, wants to see an entire overhaul of the industry. “(Recruiters) have an ultimate motive of making profits from migrant workers,” he said.
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