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UN Agency To Use Blockchain To Prevent Illegal Fees Charging

UN Agency To Use Blockchain To Prevent Illegal Fees Charging

By RTTNews Staff Writer | Published: 12/17/2019 9:31 AM ET

International Organization for Migration or IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, decided to use blockchain technology to prevent the exploitation of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong SAR, China.

The agency developed and launched a blockchain-based tool called IRIS-SAFER in partnership with blockchain solutions company Diginex. IRIS-SAFER is an acronym for the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)- Self-Assessment for Ethical Recruitment (SAFER).

The tool is being initially designed for use by representatives from the about 1,500 Hong Kong-based migrant domestic worker recruitment agencies, as well as select associated agencies in worker-sending countries.

IOM will initially invite recruitment agencies to use the tool to assess the current level of adherence to global ethical recruitment principles as set forth by the IRIS Standard.

"Ethical recruitment practices are essential to improve protection of workers, employers and recruitment intermediaries," said Giuseppe Crocetti, Chief of Mission, IOM China.

The use of blockchain technology will strengthen data management and enforce data integrity, which allows for a higher level of transparency and visibility.

According to the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, there are almost 390,000 migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, nearly 1 in 10 of all workers in the city, with almost 98 percent of these being women.

More than half or 56 percent of domestic migrant workers were charged illegal fees by recruitment agencies, a recent survey by the International Labor Organization (ILO) shows.

Hong Kong-based Diginex said the tool can help to eradicate these unethical practices of charging illegal fees . In Hong Kong, foreign domestic workers are forced to pay about HK$700,000,000 each year in placement/recruitment fees as they are some of the most economically vulnerable people.

Diginex and IOM plan to launch IRIS-SAFER to recruitment agencies in other jurisdictions globally after the successful roll-out of the tool in Hong Kong SAR and select countries of origin for migrant domestic workers.

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Article written by an RTT News Staff Writer, and posted on the RTT News.com website.

Article reposted on Markethive by Jeffrey Sloe

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