Darian McBain, Ph.D., Thai Union’s global director of sustainable development, presented the Thai Union model of direct recruitment, which was implemented in 2016 in partnership with Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN), as an example of good practice. McBain also assessed how industry champions in other sectors can follow Thai Union’s lead in implementing a more direct and transparent recruitment mechanism.
“Migrant workers are more likely to experience discrimination, according to research from MWRN and Finnwatch. They are also likely to suffer from language barriers and high recruitment fees,” McBain said. “In acknowledgement of this, Thai Union has taken steps to ensure that its migrant workers are given contracts in their own language, has implemented a global zero recruitment fees policy, and has a strict policy against all forms of discrimination.”
Prior to 2016, Thai Union initiated a joint labor empowerment program with MWRN to formally educate workers on their basic rights, Thai labor law and social welfare regulations. This year, the engagement program with MWRN expanded significantly and a Global Ethical Migrant Worker Recruitment Policy was announced. Thai Union also works with groups such as the Issara Institute and Labour Rights Promotion Network.
IOM co-hosted this workshop with the Ministry of Labor of Thailand, with support from the Employer’s Confederation of Thailand, as well as other key industry leaders including Thai Union. The seminar brought together industry associations, employers, recruiters, government representatives, workers representatives, CLMV Ambassadors/Embassy representatives, and more.