As announced earlier, a blockchain solution built in partnership with the IOM (International Organization for Migration) of the United Nations for the protection and counteraction of domestic workers will soon be implemented in Hong Kong.
More specifically, the solution is called IRIS-SAFER, International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)- Self-Assessment for Ethical Recruitment (SAFER) and will involve around 1500 Hong Kong-based workers as well as agencies that send workers to other countries.
In fact, the purpose of the tool is to promote the recruitment of workers and related information in an ethical manner, ensuring compliance with the high standards that the IRIS project itself provides, while also seeking to improve the level of quality of working conditions.
Using the blockchain it will be possible to record all the information relating to a subject and make it available and viewable by all so as to show in a transparent way the fees involving recruitment agencies.
It is worth noting that just under 400,000 domestic workers are employed in Hong Kong, 98% of whom are women. Of these, more than half, 56%, are illegally taxed by these agencies, as immigrants have less protection and guarantees to assert their rights, and for this reason the city of Hong Kong is well suited for this type of project, stressed the Head of government solutions of Diginex, Mark Blick:
“We are delighted to partner with the IOM on this impactful project. Using the UN’s IRIS standards as the benchmark for reputable agencies, we are confident that the tool can help to strike out these unethical practices. In Hong Kong, foreign domestic workers are some of the most economically vulnerable people in our society and pay approximately HK$700,000,000 each year in placement/recruitment fees. Being headquartered in Hong Kong, we believe it is vital to support the communities in which we operate, so this partnership and project is close to our hearts.”
Practical and respectful solutions for the protection of the worker is what IOM is looking for, as Giuseppe Crocetti says:
“Ethical recruitment practices are essential to improve protection of workers, employers and recruitment intermediaries. We are excited to have identified an opportunity by which IOM can support migrant worker recruitment agencies to differentiate themselves as good actors. Through use of IRIS-SAFER, agencies will first learn what are global ethical recruitment standards, then be able to demonstrate their progress and, ultimately, prove their commitment. With this project, we are drawing from IOM’s global work, through the IRIS initiative, and tailoring it to the specific experience of recruiting migrant domestic workers to Hong Kong SAR, China to ensure that in future no migrant domestic worker is made vulnerable to exploitation due to unethical recruitment.”