A fairer deal for migrant workers

In 2015, migrants from lower income countries sent home more than US$441 billion, three times as much as official aid flows. In at least 25 countries, these remittances amount to more than 10 percent of GDP and are associated with increased investments in health, education, and small businesses in various communities. Yet the labour migration process is subject to much exploitation, at the heart of which is high recruitment fees paid by many workers to secure their jobs. Many migrants thus enter a journey of mounting debts, which effectively bind them to their new workplace and make them highly vulnerable to exploitation.

The RCG team is at the forefront of efforts to secure a fairer deal for migrant workers, working directly with industry groups. This includes work on an interactive remediation toolkit for the Mekong Club to help companies develop solutions to exploitative labour practice.

RCG researcher Alessandra Spigno has also conducted a pro bono study into exploitation of workers in the tomato-growing sector in Italy. This study contributed to a successful campaign against the “double-down” auction process that creates major downward pressure on product prices and contributes to exploitation of migrant workers. In addition, in his capacity as head of the Slave-Free Recruitment Working Group for the Issara Institute, RCG director Phil Marshall has authored a paper on fee-free recruitment practices.