Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has implemented a three-year project (2019-2022), Access to Remedy for Vulnerable Migrant Workers supported by the UK Government funded Modern Slavery Innovation Fund (MSIF). The main objective of this project is to ensure that migrant workers in Malaysia have access to safe and trustworthy grievance mechanism through a dependable innovative technology tool.
The Project has two main components:
- The development of the “Access to Remedy Principles”, which is intended to set out how businesses should establish operational grievance mechanisms in their supply chains for migrant workers. ETI will promote and encourage the support of the Access to Remedy Principles by businesses.
- The development and piloting of a mobile application, “Just Good Work”, which provides information to migrant workers on their legal rights and incorporates an anonymous, independent grievance reporting mechanism.
The mobile application was developed by a contractor, Fifty-Eight, and piloted in two rubber goods manufacturing companies in Malaysia with the assistance of a local non-governmental organisation, Our Journey.
The Access to Remedy Principles (A2R Principles)
ETI launched a separate website, www.migrantworkerremedy.org in June 2021 to promote the A2R Principles more widely. ETI staff were trained on the A2R Principles so that they are well-positioned to promote the A2R Principles in their work with ETI Corporate members, trade unions and NGOs. This helped with mainstreaming of the A2R Principles across various programmes of work carried out by ETI. All ETI staff are promoting the A2R Principles through email signature templates which encourages external email recipients to go to the Access to Remedy Principles website.
Just Good Work (JGW) mobile application
JGW is a free interactive mobile app which was developed under the project. Aim of this app is to give job-seekers and workers critical information and advice for what are needed on the journey to work, from recruitment, to employment. Also, aware about life in a new destination, how to moving on or returning home safely. The JGW App was positioned originally as a tool not only to provide information but also to facilitate resolution of workplace grievances. A website, www.justgood.work was developed for the promotion of this app
Interventions in Bangladesh
Although the project was targeted for safe migration of workers in Malaysia, a huge number of migrant workers in Malaysia are from Bangladesh. And as part of developing the A2R principles and promotion of the project, multiple interventions were initiated in Bangladesh, namely organizing multistakeholder workshop to collect idea, opinion and feedback that will aid development of A2R principles, engaging stakeholders in Bangladesh who are working with migrant workers, promoting the JGW app through social media campaign, disseminating the project through webinar and promoting e-learning module of A2R principles.
Multistakeholder workshop in Bangladesh
As part of developing the Access to remedy principles, a workshop titled “Multi-Stakeholder Workshop on Access to Remedy Principles for Vulnerable Migrant Workers” was organized by ETI Bangladesh team in February 2020 at Dhaka with presence of 30 participants from different organizations. Participants includes representatives from Departments of Government (MoFA, NHRC), workers federations, legal professional, UN bodies (ILO, IOM), INGOs, brands, international private bank, travel agency and women right organization. This workshop was organized to disseminate the project idea and collect opinion to aid the development of A2R principles and shape up the programme interventions.
Collaboration meeting with MSIF partner organizations and ETI Bangladesh team
Multiple collaboration and rapport building meetings were organized with ETI BD, ETI UK, Our Journey and Fifty-Eight where the project progress, planning and ideas were shared. ETI Bangladesh team was introduced with the already developed IEC materials, JGW app, and website.
IEC materials and JGW App’s Bangla version
Already developed IEC materials were translated into Bangla for local stakeholders. Also, JGW app’s Bangla version were reviewed and later updated with simpler Bangla language interface so that local users can easily understand the app’s features.
Stakeholder engagement in Bangladesh: Promotion of A2R principles and JGW app
To engage stakeholders in Bangladesh, who work with migrant workers, a list of stakeholders was reached including NGOs working with migration workers, respective agencies of Bangladesh Government, UN agency, travel/recruiting agencies and workers federations active with migrant worker issues.
To promote the A2R principles and JGW app to stakeholders in Bangladesh, few initiatives were taken. Although the initial plan was to promote through disseminating printed IEC materials and social media campaign, due to Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh, the promotion was later planned to implement through social media campaign. As the promotion is for a mobile app that works in smartphones, the assumption was majority of the audience already have access to internet and have smartphones. In Bangladesh, use of social media platform, especially Facebook is very popular. In many cases, Facebook is used as an alternative of search engine for basic queries. Also, there are multiple Facebook groups and pages where migrant workers and people having interest in jobs outside of country are seen actively engaged. In such circumstances, ETI Bangladesh team planned a digital media campaign for the promotion and it was decided to commission the campaign to professional agency who are expert in target marketing in digital platform.
The digital media campaign was planned and along with UK Government, The Very Group supported the digital media campaign.
A two months digital campaign was planned which was divided into three phases:
- Phase 1: This part consisted of social media contents that solely focused on raising the awareness of the existence of ‘Just Good Work’ free mobile app.
- Phase 2: Increasing the understanding of the basic worker rights and infographics that the migrating and residing workers were required to know.
- Phase 3: Educate about the important documentation, dos and don’ts of Malaysia as well as how to protect against any scam or such.
Although a Facebook page, “Just Good Work” is run by technical partner for the global audiences, it was planned to open a separate page for Bangladeshi audience titled “Just Good Work Bangladesh” where only Bangla contents will be shared.
Analytics of the social media campaign: After the end of the two months campaign, following analytics are found (March-June 2022):
Number of likes in Facebook page
Number of reached audiences
Number of authentic app users from Bangladesh
Gender ratio of the audience
17% female – 83% male
Webinar with stakeholders in Bangladesh
A webinar was organized by ETI Bangladesh titled “Webinar on access to remedy for vulnerable migrant workers” on 19 May 2022. ETI Bangladesh organized and facilitated the webinar with support from ETI UK, Our Journey and Fifty-Eight. Agenda of this webinar was to share the project progress, A2R principles, JGW mobile app and social media campaign in Bangladesh. 49 participants (24 female, 25 male) from different INGOs, federation, recruiting agency, training institute, brands and others joined the webinar and shared their views on the project and A2R principles.
Brand consultation event: presenting the programme to brand representatives
ETI Bangladesh organized a brand consultation event at Dhaka with presence of 27 participants including 18 brand representatives (6 female 12 male) from 14 member and non-member brands, ETI Bangladesh team and consultant for ETI’s institutional capacity development participated in this brand consultation meeting. This event was organized on March 29, 2022.
Member and non-member brands of ETI were invited to share their views on ETI activities and future directions that can contribute to developing ETI’s future strategies.
As part of the project progress sharing, Access to Remedy for Vulnerable Migrant Workers project was presented to the participants. Also, a brief of the Just Good Work mobile app, developed under the project was given along with promotional activities ETI Bangladesh is undertaking. The idea and strategy behind the social media campaign was shared with the participants and brand representatives showed interest and shared their opinion on the initiative.
E-learning module of A2R principles
Funded by the MSIF and in partnership with Labour Solutions, ETI developed an interactive e-learning module for retail and supplier businesses to learn about the practical application of the Access to Remedy Principles, the fundamental concepts around remedy and operational grievance mechanisms, and why they are important.
Link of the module: E-learning module
Although the project was implemented with a limited scope in Bangladesh, the number of responses is the proof of high potential of such initiative through Ethical Trading Initiative. With the sheer knowledge from the promotion, stakeholder engagement and working with the organizations involved in migration, ETI Bangladesh team has opened a door to extend its programmatic branch in migrant workers issues.