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. Therefore, Axfoundation together with companies formed the MOVE initiative in 2020. The goal is to strengthen migrant workers in global supply chains through information on COVID-19 prevention and training in rights. In the autumn of 2020, MOVE launched its first pilot, a mobile app with training in four languages for migrant workers in Thailand that has been hit particularly hard by the corona pandemic.

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. The corona pandemic has exacerbated the situation in manufacturing countries such as Thailand, as it has led to layoffs and increased insecurity for already vulnerable workers

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, in line with the DhakaPrinciples for migration with dignity. They state that employers must bear all costs related to employment.

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.

Our work

MOVE was initiated in 2020 and 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 in all countries and industries. The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM), is a key partner in MOVE.

Our solution

The purpose of MOVE’s efforts is to prevent exploitation and discrimination of migrant workers and in an easily accessible way increase the group’s knowledge of rights, laws and regulations. In addition, MOVE aims to increase the digital competence of migrants in a time characterized by digitization and automation.

In the Thailand pilot, MOVE collaborates with two tech companies, the Swedish edtech company Quizrr and the Canadian Ulula. Quizrr builds knowledge in rights and responsibilities, health and safety, worker representation, wage management and ethical recruitment. Ulula specializes in digital impact assessments and surveys for workers. These components are merged in the mobile app, which also includes COVID -19 animations produced by IOM.

IOM has a special website for migrants, mitrthai.com, which refers to the app. The website and app together form a digital platform in four languages, where migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos can receive support, information and training. Local chat groups and social media are also connected to the platform.

This concept, where several components add value to each other, is an approach MOVE strives to implement also on other markets. The overall goal is to strengthen migrant workers at a global supplier level, through a scalable and digital platform on rights and responsibilities linked to safe migration and fair working conditions.

Try the app via your smartphone: http://go.thailand.quizrrapp.com/

Try the app via your smartphone: http://go.thailand.quizrrapp.com/

“MOVE is investing in developing a scalable, measurable and generic training for smartphones. Earlier successful pilot projects proved that digital training is time and cost effective, flexible and engaging.” – Viveka Risberg, Axfoundation

Results

Axfoundation’s ventures in digital training via Quizrr have been evaluated on several occasions. These evaluations form the basis for the pilot now aiming to reach migrant workers in Thailand. One of the evaluations showed that the Nordic Initiative’s pilot in 2019, were almost 2,300 migrant workers and factory managers in Thailand were trained, had led to increased knowledge in rights and responsibilities. In addition, Axfoundation’s impact assessment of digital training on 19 supplier factories in China indicates that the working environments improved since Quizrr training programs were introduced.

Partners

MOVE includes partners such as Axfood, Axfoundation, Electrolux, HP, International Organization for Migration, Quizrr, Ulula and Unil (NorgesGruppen).

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? Axfoundation and MOVE welcomes organization and companies to join in the development and implementation of innovative training to empower migrant workers. If you and your organization think this sounds interesting, welcome to contact Program coordinator Viveka Risberg.

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