The first international forum in Australia to address widespread misconduct in migrant worker recruitment will be held at UNSW on Tuesday 21 October.

This year’s Ingram Symposium brings together the Asia Pacific region’s leading policymakers, researchers, advocates, and government and industry representatives to focus on policy responses and viable business models for tackling exploitation of low-wage migrant workers.

There are more than 100 million migrant workers globally, many employed on temporary contracts in industries such as construction, agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, hospitality and domestic work.  More than half work in the Asia Pacific region.

Each year the world’s migrant workers send home an estimated $530 billion – more than triple the total global aid budget, and three times more than a decade ago.

For many developing countries, labour migration is a key strategy for poverty reduction and economic development. Nevertheless, many migrant workers encounter fraud and overcharging of fees during recruitment and many are subjected to unsafe work conditions, unpaid wages and employer abuse.

“Labour migration is one of the most pressing development and human rights issues in our region, and also one of the least discussed in Australia,” said Bassina Farbenblum, Symposium co-convenor and Director of the Migrant and Refugee Rights Project at UNSW’s Australian Human Rights Centre.

“In our region and at home, Australia can play an important role in improving protection of low-wage migrant workers from fraud and exploitation at all stages of the migration process.”

Symposium speakers include: William Gois (Migrant Forum in Asia); Dovelyn Agunias (Migration Policy Institute, Manila); Dr Abrar Chowdhury (University of Dhaka); Marie Apostol (The FAIR Hiring Initiative, Manila) and Nilim Baruah (International Labour Organization, Bangkok).

For the full program, go to the Symposium website.

What: Annual Ingram Symposium

When:  3pm – 7pm Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Where: Staff Common Room, Level 2, UNSW Law Building

Media contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media 02 9385 1583, 0424 380 208