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A Shared Responsibility for a Common Goal: Ethical Recruitment, Decent Employment and Skills Development for Migrant Workers in Thailand

Bangkok – Enhancing migrant workers' protections and maximizing the positive development impact of labour migration require collaborative efforts from various stakeholders involved in their migration journeys, including government agencies, employers, recruitment agencies, skills development providers and civil society organizations (CSOs). 

To this end, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) developed the Shared Responsibility Framework on Ethical Recruitment, Decent Employment and Skills Development for Migrant Workers in Thailand in partnership with the Asian Research Centre for Migration (ARCM-CE) at Chulalongkorn University. Notably, this Framework has further been endorsed by Thailand’s first Public Private Steering Committee on Migrant Employment, which was established in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, employers’ confederations, business associations and academia.  

"The notion of shared responsibility is essential to the protection of migrant workers. While the protection of migrant workers is primarily an obligation upon States, private sector and civil society partners all have a role to play," said Ms. Geraldine Ansart, Chief of Mission at IOM Thailand. 

"Only the shared commitment and concerted efforts among stakeholders can help remove existing barriers and achieve the full potential of labour migration as a source of poverty reduction, sustainable development and resilience from the COVID-19 pandemic," she added. 

Despite the vital economic and social contribution of migrant workers, they face many structural barriers that prevent them from fully benefiting from labour migration. This may include unethical recruitment practices, discrimination during employment and lack of access to social protection as well as skills development. Moreover, many migrant workers are employed in the informal economy where they are increasingly vulnerable. 

The Shared Responsibility lays down minimum standards as per Thai laws as well as international standards to support stakeholders in recruiting and employing migrant workers. It provides guidance on several aspects such as job placement and worker selection, recruitment fees and migration-related costs, workplace procedures and safety, access to State-based grievance mechanisms and access to skills training opportunities, among many others.  

"As the COVID-19 spread globally, its health and socioeconomic effects have become more evident in Thailand, including among the migrant worker populations. This guidance also identified emerging issues concerning migrant workers' rights and welfare that have emerged from this pandemic, as well as potential policy response measures to address similar emergencies and crises in the future," said Dr. Premjai Vungsiriphisal, Senior Researcher at ARCM-CE at Chulalongkorn University. 

"We hope this Shared Framework can serve as a reference point for the key stakeholders to guide our collaborations towards ensuring ethical recruitment, decent employment and skills development for migrant workers," Ms. Ansart added. 

Access the guidance here: https://bit.ly/3pHZUyS 

This initiative is part of IOM's Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand (PROMISE) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 

For more information, please contact Ms. Panitee Nuykram at mediathailand@iom.int or Maximilian Pottler at mpottler@iom.int