Education International (EI), together with social partner agencies and academic institutions, was represented at a workshop on the Fair Recruitment Initiative (FRI) organised by the Global Migration Group Task Force on Migration and Decent Work, held at the International labour organisation (ILO)-International Training Centre (ITC), in Turin, Italy, from 23-24 April.
Education International highlighted the need to better protect migrant workers’ rights, teachers being especially targeted.
The event organised by the ILO, followed the conclusions of the tripartite technical meeting on migration in November 2013, which asked the ILO, together with its constituents and stakeholders, including the Global Migration Group (GMG) agencies, to develop guidance on fair recruitment based on international labour standards.
This technical workshop, the first of a series of consultation events within the first phase of the FRI, aimed to: review and discuss recent evidence on the links between recruitment, labour migration and human trafficking; discuss the overall framework and objectives of the FRI; and finally, discuss benchmarks for Fair Recruitment based on international standards, which lead to the development of policy guidance on this important issue.
Migrant workers vulnerable to forced labour and human trafficking
Evidence shows that unfair recruitment practices and processes tend to increase the risk of forced labour and human trafficking. Improving the regulation of recruitment agencies and recruitment practices is needed to better protect migrant workers, including teachers and all education personnel. Much remains to be done to develop a common framework for implementing fair recruitment practices grounded on existing international standards.
“We must draw on existing initiatives such as the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol which contains a specific requirement that recruiting agencies should inform recruited teachers of the names and contact details of all teachers unions in recruiting countries,” said EI representative Samidha Garg, International Relations Officer for the UK’s National Union of Teachers, and a member of the EI Migration Task Force, in her remarks at the ILO meeting.
EI to launch migrant teachers’ portal and new study
As Europe prepares to commemorate International Workers’ Day on May 1st, EI reaffirms the need for all workers, including education personnel, to be accorded freedom of association and the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination at work, which are at the heart of the decent work agenda. On this important occasion, EI will be launching a dedicated web portal for use by migrant teachers and education unions around the world and a study on teacher migration and mobility. The web portal, which will be unveiled on May Day, will be accessible here
Migrant rights are human rights
Through the Unite for Quality Education campaign, EI has been mobilising its members to demand quality education for all learners. Quality education depends on quality teachers, quality tools and quality, safe and healthy environments for teaching and learning.
“As a global union dedicated to teacher voice and dignity, as well as to quality education for all students around the world, EI has long recognised the profound importance of international teacher migration and mobility and the challenges faced by many education professionals working in other countries,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “That is why EI continues to defend and promote the rights of migrant workers and has decided to provide a specific web portal for use by migrant teachers around the world.”
EI encourages all education professionals working beyond their national borders to utilise this tool and share their experiences in order to improve the professional status and well-being of all educators.
EI calls on governments to ratify and implement the United Nations Convention on the Protection of Rights of All Migrant Workers and ILO Migrant Conventions. Migrant teachers and all education personnel working across national borders must be accorded all fundamental freedoms and workers’ rights, including freedom of association and the right form and belong to a trade union.