For a fee: the recruitment of migrant domestic workers
Various, including ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour (DfID and U.S. Department of Labour), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Open Society Foundations, Humanity United.
ILO, IOM, Fair Hiring Initiative, Equip (Lebanon)
Dr. Katharine Jones, Marie Apostol, Leena Ksaifi, Daryl Delgado, Stephanie Morin, Patrick Dobree, Wangui Irimu.
A number of related projects have sought to document and explain how recruitment firms and brokers profit from organising migration, how and why recruitment firms engage in specific unethical/ abusive business practice, why it predominates as a means of organizing migration in some national contexts and not in others, and how recruitment abuses can be effectively challenged by governments and by migrants themselves. With various collaborators and team members, projects have been conducted in Indonesia, Singapore, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Lebanon, Jordan, Brazil, Paraguay and Kenya. The current project explores how male and female migrant workers are able to most effectively challenge exploitative labour recruiters, with research conducted globally, but especially in Qatar and Nepal.
In 2015, there were an estimated 244 million migrants worldwide, an increase of 41% since the turn of the millennium. Over the past two decades, ‘recruiters’ who organise labour migration across international borders have also dramatically increased in numbers. Recruiters are a well-documented source of exploitation of migrant workers. Their business practices are known to exacerbate the risk of abuse, forced labour and human trafficking. Among the most widely cited abuses perpetrated by recruiters are: deception about the nature and conditions of work, confiscation of passports, illegal wage deductions, debt bondage linked to extortionate recruitment fees, threats if workers want to leave their employers and physical violence.
Four studies (the recruitment of migrant women into domestic from Bangladesh, India, Nepal into Jordan and Lebanon) were conducted for the ILO Special Action Programme to Combat Forced Labour (SAP-FL) between 2014 and 2015 as part of the Work in Freedom Initiative funded by UK DfID. This programme aimed to preventing the trafficking of women and girls in South Asia and the Middle East through promoting education, fair recruitment, safe migration and decent work. The study contributed to amendments to regulation in these countries, advocacy and campaigning, and the development of ethical recruitment principles with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and employers’ bodies.
Two further studies were funded by the US Department of Labour under the auspieces of the ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative, launched in 2014. These contributed to the development of ILO and US Government programmes of work in these countries (Brazil, Paraguay and Kenya) to tackle exploitation of migrants, as well to advocacy on the ground.
A further study conducted for Open Society Foundations (Asia and Middle East Programme) explored the use of a “TripAdvisor” style project for migrant women to report back on and improve the practices of exploitative recruiters in Indonesia. This study influenced the further development of the project, and has fed into the development of a global “TripAdvisor for Migrants” soon to be launched by the ITUC/ ILO with funding from the US Government.
The politics of migration, displacement and belonging among Afghans migrants and refugees in Europe and North America
Our research on Afghan experiences of displacement and migration focuses in the following issues: the politics of the migration, asylum and resettlement of Afghans in Europe and North America; Afghan journeys and migration into Europe and the engagement of recently arrived Afghans in Europe for peacebuilding and development in Afghanistan. We aim to examine the situate of the complex migration histories of Afghans who have recently migrated from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan within debates around the categorisation, intersectionality and development in migration.
Refugee resettlement: politics, practices, rhetoric
This project explores resettlement in countries of destination as well in those which host large numbers of forcibly displaced persons. Drawing evidence from a select group of case-studies, we analyse the ways in which the politics of resettlement are translated on the ground through the practices and narratives of the staff of intermediary organisations such as UNHCR, IOM and the NGOs involved in resettlement; and government officials as well as their main respective donor governments. Using decolonising methodologies, we also aim to study the intertwined narratives, storytelling and rhetoric about resettlement of the women and men who have been forcibly displaced.
Managing the migration crisis? Undocumented migrants and refugees at Europe’s southern border
Over recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy as part of what has come to be known as Europe’s ‘migration crisis’. An intensification of controls on international population movements has taken place both at sea and after arrival. This project seeks to better understand what the impact of attempts by EU institutions and national governments to manage the crisis has been on migrants’ status and journeys. It serves to document the ongoing crisis through the experiences of newly arrived migrants and refugees.