SPEECH BY NICK FORSTER
Interactive round table 4 – High-level dialogue on International Migration and Development
4 Oct 2013 - Theme of the meeting: International and regional labour mobility and its impact on development.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen I am delighted to be here today representing FSI at the UN High Level dialogue – let me tell you briefly about FSI and where we fit in.
FSI have achieved something unique in the field of recruitment of migrant workers into the Middle East
- We are a commercial enterprise who has a practical and proven model delivering ethical recruitment out of some of the largest labour exporting nations in the developing world and we have been doing this successfully for the last 7 years WITH SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE IMPACTS FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS ALIKE
- WE DO IT – Because we believe everyone is entitled to decent employment and the opportunity to improve their economic position without being exposed to financial EXPLOITATION IN SOURCE OR DESTINATION COUNTRIES. We also believe that ETHICAL RECRUITMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE IS NOT ONLY THE RIGHT THING TO DO morally, BUT MAKES COMMERCIAL SENSE AS AN EFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MODEL FOR ALL SECTORS OF BUSINESS. We have proved this by our work to-date and we are also beginning a large pilot project in the construction industry in Qatar. We will capture and publicise the data relating to productivity and welfare benefits of the FSI model on this project.
- We define ETHICAL MANPOWER PROVISION OR EMP in part as the recruitment and deployment of workers protected from the traditional recruitment models in the labour source countries which too often results in debt bondage. The FSI model ensures that no fees are charged at any stage of the process. Our personnel are protected from any and all forms of exploitation and ARE recruited purely on merit –EMPLOYMENT THROUGH OUR PROTECTED CORRIDORS DIRECTLY LINKS THE RIGHT CANDIDATES WITH EMPLOYERS who are committed to fair and transparent treatment of their staff.
The ILO plays a pivotal role in identifying and highlighting key issues across the spectrum of migration and critically supporting governments to institute effective migrant recruitment practices. We welcome this and we also would like to see the expansion of initiatives that incentivise ethical recruitment agencies.
As such I would like to suggest some ways in which more Private Recruitment Agencies could be encouraged to enter the market.
- FSI does not compete on a level playing field – unlike our competition we cannot leverage the money taken from workers so we would encourage initiatives that could provide funding and other assistance to Ethical recruitment companies.
- Specific interventions into specific geographies and sectors, in partnership with the private sector, such as the ILO’s Better Work Programme and Work in Freedom (which we are involved in) are effective and should be expanded.
- Another example of useful assistance from the ILO would be in the licensing of Ethical Private Recruitment Companies in both source and destination countries. The licensing process in many countries is very expensive and riven through with inappropriate friction and corruption.
- Also challenging employers and placement agencies across all sectors to pay realistic recruitment fees to their source country recruiters and assisting companies in ensuring the integrity of their labour supply chains.
IN SUMMARY we need to level the playing field through appropriate, enforced legislation that demands ethical practices in recruitment and employment but which also creates a permissive, facilitative environment for ethical companies like FSI to operate – we want to see lots more companies like ours out there.