04.2018 / Sophia Kagan, Chief Technical Adviser, FAIRWAY Project, ILO Beirut
The words we use, and the narratives these words
form, are crucial to the way that we perceive migrant workers and
approach topics around migration. For this reason, in December 2017, the
FAIRWAY project (funded by SDC) launched the Media Friendly Glossary on Migration: Middle East Edition,
which has been shared with journalists, editors, civil society and
other partners around the region, to promote balanced and ethical
reporting of issues around migration, including on domestic workers.
More than 12 Editors in Chief from major media outlets in Lebanon and
Jordan have benefited from newsroom visits by ILO experts to encourage
them to institutionalize fair reporting on migrant worker issues,
including on domestic workers – by for example – ensuring that they are
referred to as 'domestic workers' and properly investigating cases of
allegations of abuse and mistreatment (rather than focusing on immigration status).
the FAIRWAY project has been tackling the attitudes of households
through an 'employer outreach' strategy that identifies businesses,
public institutions and embassies who can host short, interactive
training sessions for their employees. The sessions – covering laws and
regulations and also behaviour change messaging – have reached over 160
participants across a multitude of organizations in Lebanon, with 92 per
cent of participants indicating that they would recommend the session
to a friend. Additionally pre- and post- knowledge assessments show a
vast improvement in the employers' understanding of the relevant laws on
The FAIRWAY project has identified
Arab youth as "change-makers" in attitudes and behaviours towards
migrant domestic workers. In order to reach Arab youth, the FAIRWAY
project has launched a public awareness campaign driven by a youth
volunteer network across multiple countries in the Arab states, in the
lead up to the International Domestic Workers Day on 16 June 2018. In
connection with the global My Fair Home (MFH) campaign – an initiative
of the ILO and International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) – the
youth campaign encourages young people to take positive actions to
address discrimination against domestic workers within their families
As part of the campaign, on 9-10 March
2018, a group of Jordanian youth met to take part in an intensive
training workshop on campaigning for attitude and behaviour change
towards migrant domestic workers. The purpose of the training programme
was to equip the youth advocates with the necessary knowledge and
practical skills to implement a series of social media and community
outreach activities. Over a two-day period, the youth group took part in
sessions providing a global and national overview of domestic workers'
rights, an introduction to the principles and messages of the My Fair
Home campaign, and heard experiences on advocacy campaigning from
representatives from Ensaniyat Project (Kuwait), and KAFA (Lebanon).
order to ensure that the voices of migrant domestic workers were
represented, the youth participated in an exchange session with domestic
worker community leaders from the Solidarity Centre – who shared their
stories and experiences of life as a domestic worker in Jordan. Role
play "in her shoes" exercises, allowed the youth to see the situation
from the perspective of the recruitment agency, government minister,
worker and employer/household.
Youth were also supported through
sessions on social media techniques and sensitive and rights-based
communication on migration – including terminology and imagery.
with a team of youth in Lebanon, these young people will be developing a
campaign strategy culminating in activities on International Domestic
Workers Day on 16 June 2018.
For further information
visit the FAIRWAY project page (ilo.org/fairway) and
the ILO’s Regional Office for Arab States labour migration page (ilo.org/roasmigration).