UN Migration Agency Uses Blockchain to Prevent Domestic Helper Exploitation in HK

UN Migration Agency Uses Blockchain to Prevent Domestic Helper Exploitation in HK

by December 17, 2019

Blockchain solution provider Diginex and the Internationa Organisation for Migration announced the launch of a blockchain based tool developed to prevent the exploitation of migrant domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

The tool called IRIS-SAFER, which is an acronym for the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)- Self-Assessment for Ethical Recruitment (SAFER), is initially being designed for use by representatives from the approximately 1,500 Hong Kong-based migrant domestic worker recruitment agencies as well as select associated agencies in worker-sending countries.

Agencies invited to use the tool – to assess their current level of adherence to global ethical recruitment principles as set forth by the IRIS Standard – will do so as a part of their participation in broader training on ethical recruitment.

The use of blockchain technology – essentially a set of immutable, secure, data records – will strengthen data management and enforce data integrity, which allows for a higher level of transparency and visibility.

There are almost 390,000 migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, nearly 1 in 10 of all workers in the city. Almost all (98%) of these domestic workers are women. According to a recent survey, more than half (56%) of domestic migrant workers were charged illegal fees by recruitment agencies.

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