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There are 24 million foreign migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region, many of them vulnerable to exploitative labour practices because of the way the recruitment system works. Many employment agencies charge illegal and/or excessive recruitment fees to migrant workers, trapping them in forced labour while doing little to prepare them for the job. The result is high worker attrition rates and debt bondage – a system that is failing both employers and workers.
Domestic workers in Hong Kong often forgo 6 months of their salary in order to be placed in a job; the industry has high early termination rates for first-time workers - approximately 30-40%. This results in a cycle of poverty for migrant workers. At the same time, advanced economies in Asia are relying increasingly on migrant workers for household support and family and elder care, and need to create more equitable environments to attract and retain labor/manpower.
It is clear that there is a pressing need to tackle the issue of forced labour and financial exploitation of migrant workers in Asia, and Fair Employment Foundation (FEF) has the solution for this.
Worker indebtedness happens during the recruitment process. Different actors and different touch points create opportunities for migrant workers to be financially exploited. Many agencies and training centers charge excessive and illegal fees to desperate workers looking for work abroad.
Fair Employment Foundation works to prevent exploitation of migrant workers by creating an end-to-end solution to address the supply and demand of migrant labor:
- Fair Employment Foundation (FEF) (Parent entity): We incubate solutions, raise awareness of the issue, provide public information resources, and support employer education;
- Fair Employment Agency (FEA): We are an ethical recruitment agency that places domestic workers without charging fees to workers and provides high quality matches and services to employers.
- Fair Training Center (FTC): Non-profit training innovation hub that prepares migrant workers for successful migration, with an emphasis on life skills.
- Honest Jobs: We invest in mission-aligned enterprises.
For more information on our solution, do refer to our Slide Deck.