New web platform to help protect OFWs vs. abusive employment practices

MANILA A new online portal that can help Filipino migrant workers avoid erring recruitment agencies was launched on Thursday.

Khalid Hassan, director of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Country Office for the Philippines, said the Migrant Recruitment Advisor (MRA), will allow migrant workers to comment on their experiences, rate the recruitment agencies, and learn about their rights.

Migration should be a choice. The ILO supports countries like the Philippines in protecting the welfare of migrant workers through fair recruitment and rights-based migration. The Migrant Recruitment Advisor can help prospective Filipino migrant workers make informed decision or choice by going through online reviews, he said in a statement.

The MRA was officially launched in the Philippines after a series of regional consultations and launches held in Davao and Cebu.

It was developed by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), in partnership with the ILO and can be accessed at https://www.recruitmentadvisor.org/.

Available in English and Filipino, and soon in other languages, the platform features licensed recruitment agencies of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

The ILO said that governments provided the list of licensed agencies and a network of trade unions and civil society organizations in all target countries, such as Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, that ensure the sustainability of the platform by reaching out to workers and speaking to them about their rights.

The MRA will promote recruiters who follow a fair recruitment process based on the ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment and will provide useful feedback to governments regarding the practices of licensed recruitment agencies, which could be used to complement more traditional monitoring systems.

ITUC general secretary, Sharan Burrow said that recruitment is a critical stage when migrant workers are more vulnerable to abuse.

Unscrupulous recruitment agencies take advantage of the lack of law enforcement by governments or because workers are simply not aware of their rights. It's time to put power back into workers' hands to rate the recruitment agencies and show whether their promises of jobs and wages are delivered, she added.

Statistics show that 3,000 Filipino workers leave the country daily in search of a better life and decent work. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency