Last month in Vision, we reported on a new project that looks at labor migration in the Kenya to Gulf corridor. The project promotes the rights of migrant workers through a multi-faceted strategy based on partnership. On this project, we’re working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to engage all of the key stakeholders in the migration process, including governments, community groups, labor advocates, recruitment agencies, and employers as well as, of course, migrant workers themselves.
In many ways, the project provides insight into how Verité operates. Our approach – from project implementation through advocacy – emphasizes dialogue, consensus building, and collective action as one of the most effective and sustainable ways to win rights-based progress in the complex systems of international migration and recruitment. This approach prioritizes labor market and migration stakeholders, from both the public and private sectors.
Of course, the challenges inherent to this approach are numerous and well known. The most obvious are getting everyone on the same page and pushing in the same direction to protect migrant workers. These are challenging times for organizations around the world that promote rights-based labor migration.
Nevertheless, the benefits of partnership – particularly in the face of opposition – far outweigh the challenges. Over the last year, through projects with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), we have seen new standards developed, new projects and initiatives launched, and new donors coming to the table; all based on growing multi-stakeholder consensus about the need to transform migration practices and eliminate the worst abuses of trafficking and forced labor.
Our collective work with civil society also reflects this success. Not long ago, the rights of migrant workers in the global economy and in supply chains were nowhere on the agendas of governments, international organizations and, indeed, some civil society groups. Now, with the hard work and dedication of non-profit, faith- and rights-based, union, investors, and some public agencies, this has changed. Fair migration and recruitment are now very much at the center of global dialogue – inside the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and out. This is good news for discussions at the United Nations that will lead to a new Global Compact on Migration in 2018.
Partnerships and coalition-building – from projects in Kenya to advocacy at the global level – are a cornerstone of Verité’s strategic approach. At a time when the rights of people on the move are increasingly under threat, we need sustained, collective action more than ever.
For more information on Verité’s partnerships, contact Philip Hunter.