MOVE: Empowering migrant workers with knowledge

Crossing national borders for work is among the principal motives of international migration. Migrant workers can be found in global supply chains in all industries and contribute to worldwide economic development. Minimizing the risks of exploitation of migrant workers and securing good working conditions is crucial to responsible buying companies with global supply chains. The Nordic Initiative, formed by Nordic food retail companies, Quizrr and Axfoundation in 2017, aimed to raise knowledge on ethical recruitment on factories in Thailand. In 2020, the initiative is renamed to MOVE - using the same methodology - but inviting more businesses and reaching more markets. The goal is to mitigate and eradicate unethical recruitment and discrimination of migrant workers through accessible training, shared knowledge and constructive dialogue in the workplace.

The Issue

Migrant workers are among the most vulnerable to exploitation and often have few opportunities to assert their rights. Among other reasons, a lack of means of earning an income in the home country leads to many accepting poor working conditions abroad. Exploitation of migrant workers occurs at all stages of a typical migration cycle, from recruitment to employment and upon returning home.

Migrants can get into debt to pay for visas, health checks and travel costs for temporary employment abroad. The Employer Pays Principle was launched to minimize this risk. It states that employers must bear all costs related to employment. However, this principle is so far voluntary and is not always in line with prevailing national legislation, as is the case in Thailand. Many companies are working to introduce the Employer Pays Principle to local suppliers and recruitment companies.

Our work

MOVE is an expansion of The Nordic Initiative, a successful venture where Axfoundation, together with ten Nordic food companies, including Axfood, Coop and ICA, joined forces in 2017 to raise levels of knowledge about working conditions at supplier factories in Thailand. Using the positive experience of the educational efforts made in Thailand as a springboard, MOVE is now turning to companies and organizations outside the Nordic countries, in all industries, for all markets. IOM Promise is part of MOVE.

The purpose of MOVE is to prevent the exploitation and discrimination of migrant workers. That is done through digital training on rights and responsibilities, in local languages for different markets. Quizrr builds knowledge in health and safety, worker engagement, wage management and ethical recruitment. The primary target group for MOVE is migrant workers. Secondary target groups are recruitment agents and local employees.

Already, 2,300 employees and managers tested Quizrr in a pilot in Thailand, performed in 2019. The employees stated that the digital tool made it easier for them to remember what they had learned, and that attitudes between local Thai workers and migrant workers had improved.

MOVE aims to empower migrant workers in global supply chains through easily accessible training, shared knowledge and constructive dialogue.

MOVE aims to empower migrant workers in global supply chains through easily accessible training, shared knowledge and constructive dialogue.

“MOVE is investing in developing scalable, measurable and generic training that can be used during the pre-departure phase at migrant centers and also at production facilities. Earlier successful pilot projects proved that digital training is time and cost effective, flexible and engaging.” – Viveka Risberg, Axfoundation

Partners

MOVE currently includes Axfood, Axfoundation, Coop Sweden, International Organization for Migration, Martin & Servera, Norvida, Quizrr and Unil Norway.

Become a part of MOVE

Are you engaged in anti-exploitation of migrant workers in global supply chains? Are you looking for something complementary to audits and factory inspections? Do you want to be part of a practical, hands-on program in a multi stakeholder environment? Welcome to participate in the development and implementation of training to empower migrant workers. If you and your organization think this sounds interesting, welcome to contact Program coordinator Viveka Risberg.

Contact

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