As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread, with more than one million confirmed cases globally, businesses and employers – alongside governments and other stakeholders – have a vital role to play in safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of the estimated 164 million international migrant workers and their communities around the world.
Migrant workers are disproportionately impacted by the negative effects of COVID-19 on businesses, including through soaring unemployment rates and possible loss of income. It is therefore vital that international brands, their suppliers and other business partners respond comprehensively and collaboratively to the current situation. In doing so, they must recognize their shared responsibility to protect migrant workers and work together with governments towards avoiding costs of economic damages being passed onto workers.
Guidance for Employers
To support employers to respond effectively to the crisis, IOM provides preliminary guidance in the resource linked below. This will be a "living document" updated regularly for the duration of the pandemic.
"Employers and business play a vital role in protecting migrant workers and their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many provide essential care, services and goods and, in doing so, rely heavily on their migrant workforce. This includes nurses, doctors and other frontline care workers as well as the agricultural, transport and retail workers that keep our cities and towns supplied with food and other essential items. This resource is designed to help employers more effectively respond to the impact of COVID-19 and to enhance protections for migrant workers in their operations and supply chains. We hope that the guidance it provides will prove valuable."
IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino
Guidance for Labour Recruiters
In order for labour recruiters to respond effectively to the crisis, IOM provides preliminary guidance in the resource linked below. This will be a "living document" updated regularly for the duration of the pandemic.
"During the current global health crisis, labour recruiters play an essential role in protecting migrant workers and ensuring essential services have the staff they need to provide elevated levels of care. Recruitment agencies are also on the frontlines of helping migrant workers get home and supporting those who have already returned to access social assistance, seek alternative livelihood opportunities and navigate the challenges related to reintegration in a time of mandatory quarantine and social distancing. This resource provides guidance to labour recruiters on how to maintain high standards of ethical recruitment despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. We hope that it provides inspiration and insight for the application of practical measures to promote enhanced migrant worker protection."
IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson