Multi-Stakeholder Interventions to Uphold Decent Work in Mega-Sports Events

15 October 2018 15:29

A public forum highlighting the role of multi-stakeholders in ensuring the rights of migrant workers concluded the global conference on nexus of Sports and Migration in Kathmandu, Nepal. The panel comprised of two important stakeholders – government and employers – as the days prior focused on perspectives from trade unions.  

“Our goal is to support migrant workers and their families in the whole cycle of migration.  We provide assistance to migrants in case of disability or death and those in distress,” said Jiwan Rai, Director from the Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB), which is a semi-autonomous government agency.

Henriette McCool, Social Innovation Manager, VINCI presented the work of QDVC/VINCI—a joint venture between Qatari Diar and VINCI – where she was responsible for corporate social responsibility.  

She stated that the company had a strong safety and CSR culture, “In 2014, we established Workers Welfare Committees (WWC) and in 2016, we conducted independent elections of WWC representatives. We also conduct safety audits of our contractors, sub-contractors and recruiting agencies. We started to engage in dialogue with BWI in 2013 and resulting in an agreement four years later”.

McCool also outlined in detail QDVC’s initiative on ethical recruitment to ensure workers employed by QDVC/VINCI did not bear any recruitment fees. The initiative included carrying out pilot surveys, on-site investigation in India and Bangladesh, and verification surveys.  Through this process, QDVC/VINCI was able to confirm that 9% of workers they surveyed did not pay recruitment fees. In conclusion, she emphasized that one company alone cannot change the industry.  It is the responsibility of both the state and other companies. 

The forum concluded with closing remarks from the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Employment, Gokarna Raj Bista, who highlighted migrant workers’ concerns and also the steps taken by the Government of Nepal to ensure safe migration. He said, “Interventions to protect workers’ rights are required both in Nepal as well as countries of destination where workers make significant contributions. In Nepal, the Government aims to cover all workers under contributory social security scheme and to also have a full employment program in place so that workers have access to decent work within and outside Nepal.”   

The public forum was attended by over 150 participants including international representatives who had met the previous two days as part of the Global Conference on Sports Nexus Migration: 2018 World Cup and 2018 Winter Olympics Evaluation and Handover.