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Seasonal worker schemes in the Pacific through the lens of international human rights and labour standards

— theme: Labour migration policy
— country: Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
— type: Reports

This report presents a summary of the forthcoming technical report on a 2020–21 review of Australia’s Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, which are available to citizens of Pacific island countries (PICs). This review was carried out as part of the project “Enhancing Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region”, otherwise known as the Pacific Climate Change Migration and Human Security Programme, led by the International Organization for Migration alongside the ILO, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, with the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The review consists of two components. The first component is a legal review of the SWP and the RSE that considers the extent to which the policies and laws under which these schemes operate are consistent with international human rights standards, including international labour standards. The second component is a review of the two schemes in practice, particularly from the point of view of the seasonal workers, based on interviews with seasonal workers in four participating PICs – Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and Vanuatu – and consultations with key stakeholders (see list in the Annex). Based on the legal review and the review of the schemes in practice, recommendations are presented for improving recruitment practices and labour standards, enhancing the participation of women and marginalized groups, and increasing the degree to which the schemes are consistent with international human rights and labour law. After summarizing the main findings of the technical report, the principal emphasis of this summary report is on the recommendations.

International Labour Organization
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