Researcher: Research and Documentation
Lugar: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Organización: UN Women
UN Women is committed to creating improved conditions of work for marginalized groups of women migrant workers, workers in the informal sector, and home-based workers. By designing and planning interventions that create fair and decent employment for women migrant workers across Asia through the provision of safe migration and by strengthening and safeguarding the processes and protocols which would better the working conditions and provisions offered.
Since 2001, UN Women’s Regional Programme on Empowering Women Migrant Workers in Asia has been advocating for the protection and promotion of the rights of women migrant workers in the region and has successfully contributed to key replicable results in protecting and empowering women migrant workers. The current project on ‘Empowerment of Women Migrant Workers in South Asia through Implementation of Standard Terms of Employment’ is being implemented by UN Women under the support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation(SDC). The project is being implemented in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka through UN Women respective Country Offices, and coordinated at the regional level with countries of destination in the Middle East.
The project has engaged with national governments and CSOs on discussions of gender responsive guidance on employment contracts for women migrant domestic workers. It has been working through line ministries and relevant departments including the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment, Immigration Department and Labour Wing, among others. The implementation process is moving forward in partnership with regional civil society networks including Migration Forum in Asia(MFA) and international organizations, namely IOM and ILO. The focus of this initiative is on the promotion and implementation of gender-sensitive guidance on employment contracts, as this is a serious gap in the legal and normative framework governing the rights of the women migrant workers.
Establishing rights-based, gender-sensitive employment contracts for women migrant domestic workers is crucial as they are excluded from national labour laws of most countries, both in countries of origin and destination. Employment contracts should be introduced to potential migrant domestic workers during the pre-employment stage, and executed before the migrant domestic worker leaves the country of origin. The implementation and monitoring of these contracts is complex due to the fact that they are often subject to various national laws in origin and destination countries, as well as bilateral and regional agreements, and because there are a number of parties invested in and accountable on their implementation, including employees and employers but also governments and recruitment agencies at both ends of the migration corridor.
In this context, UN Women developed Gender-sensitive guidance on employment contracts to support countries of origin and destination in development of and negotiations on standard contracts as part of the bilateral labour agreements (BLAs) and memoranda of understanding (MOUs).
UN Women is committed to developing best practice guidelines and providing technical support and advice to countries of origin and destination including through Gender-sensitive guidance on employment contracts. The guidance was developed collaboratively with civil society, to ensure it reflects the voices of women migrant domestic workers themselves, and to ensure it is not a restrictive or overly complex document. It is designed to be flexible and transparent. It does not fix any of the details of duties and conditions of employment; this remains up to the parties to determine. But it does lay out some ground rules, in line with international labour standards and rights. This is a powerful tool to promote the ethical recruitment of women in order to implement the gender-responsive principles of employment contracts.
Bilateral Labour Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding
Bangladesh has signed bilateral agreements with a number of destination countries, namely: Kuwait (2000/2008), Qatar (1988/2008), UAE (2007), Malaysia (2003/2006/2012), Oman (2008), Libya (2008), South Korea (Employment Permit System– 2007), Jordan (2012), Iraq (2013), Hong Kong, China (2013) and Saudi Arabia (2015). Drawing up bilateral memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between countries of origin and countries of employment is a way of strengthening the rights of migrant workers. The agreements provide an effective government-to-government channel and set out methods of managing migration that the countries implement jointly and this ensures that women migrant workers are covered under labour law (UN Women Asia Pacific 2013). Many of the agreements stipulate the kinds of conditions that must be protected in employment contracts, and/or provide a contract template (referred to as a ‘standard unified contract’ or ‘standard terms of employment’).
However, only a few agreements focus on women migrant workers and particularly on women domestic workers. Two of the notable ones are: the Bangladesh–Jordan memorandum (2012) that provides Bangladeshi domestic workers with protection and rights under the labour law of Jordan; and the Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia memoranda (2015) that focuses on the recruitment of domestic service workers. There has been a recent amendment of contract between Bangladesh- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that adopted a number of terms of employment for the protection of rights of domestic service workers. However, implementation of these terms of employment is a significant challenge.
The MUSANED platform was initiated by the Ministry of Labor, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It provides an electronic system which aims to bring greater transparency and accountability to the recruitment process for migrant domestic workers employed in households, by reducing the role of intermediaries in recruitment; providing an electronic record of employment contracts and other essential documents; and by providing accessible information to guide migrant domestic workers during their time abroad.
The Platform provides the following capabilities:
- Information on rights and obligations of both employer and employee
- Recruitment, employment and departure services
- A live list of licensed recruitment offices and companies
- Information on complaints procedures and committees
- Forms for all required documents.
There is a need to better understand the potential of the platform for strengthening and streamlining recruitment and employment procedures for women migrant domestic workers, and in equipping women with the information needed to better understand their rights, and raise complaints through appropriate channels when those rights are violated. An analysis of gaps, opportunities and good practices from MUSANED can therefore also be used to support the Government of Bangladesh to identify transferable good practices from Musaned that might be applied in other migration corridors.
UN Women is seeking the services from a qualified national consultant to:
- Support Gender Equality analysis of the existing BLAs, MoUs and standard employment contracts linked to these agreements to support Government of Bangladesh with evidence-based recommendations for the protection of rights of domestic service workers.
- Assist in the review of the Musaned system that was introduced by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to protect domestic workers in the recruitment system. The MUSANED system will be reviewed as a possible way to monitor and implement contracts.
II. Overall Purpose and Specific Objectives: The overall purpose of this study is to conduct Gender Equality Analysis of online recruiting system (e.g. MUSANED) and intergovernmental mechanisms (BLAs, MOUs) to protect and promote the rights of women migrant domestic workers in Bangladesh-Middle East corridors.
Specific objectives of the study:
- Conduct a gender analysis of existing BLAs, MoUs and associated terms of employment signed between Government of Bangladesh and respective destination countries.
- Develop in-depth gender equality analysis of the existing BLAs, MoUs in order to identify gaps in relation to issues affecting women migrant workers including: discriminatory labour standards, employment discrimination and gender-based violence, and gaps in the laws protecting women migrant workers.
- Review institutional mechanisms in destination countries available to implement the employment contract, in order to ensure accountability of the employers and recruiting agencies.
- Assess the existing monitoring mechanisms of Government of Bangladesh to ensure the implementation of gender-responsive, rights-based employment contracts including capacity to take action against the violation of agreed clauses of the contract.
- Conduct a review of the MUSANED platform to:
- Identify good practices, particularly in terms of transparent and ethical recruitment processes and employment contract monitoring
- Identify any gaps and challenges particularly in terms of accessibility and uptake among women migrant domestic workers;
- Provide recommendations to the Government on Bangladesh on promoting the uptake of the Platform, ensuring the Platform meets the needs of women migrant domestic workers, and recommend ways to expand or further develop this platform.
Scope of the work and main responsibilities:
Under the direct supervision of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme Analyst of UN Women (based in Dhaka), she or he will assist international consultant to carry out the research work in line with the scope of assignment but not limited to. The national consultant will closely work with the International consultant who will be hired for this research. The scope of work will include:
- Research design and field research to meet both objectives:
- Support to Identify methods and tools for data collection and analysis, research questions, scope and limitations of the methodology.
- Assist to organize Experts group meeting on the validation of findings of the research
- Provide inputs to the Finalization of the report.
- Objective 1. Conduct a gender analysis of existing BLAs, MoUs and associated terms of employment signed between Government of Bangladesh and respective destination countries, including:
- Support to carry out a desk review of relevant documents including existing bilateral labour agreements, MOUs and associated employment terms of employment that Bangladesh has signed and which apply (directly or indirectly) to women migrant domestic workers
- Assist to analyse them with reference to relevant national and international policy documents, strategies and convention
- Support to draw and develop recommendations to the Government of Bangladesh on the capacity of current agreements to address issues affecting women migrant workers, and the availability of mechanisms to implement and monitor gender-responsive, rights-based employment contracts
- Assist to convene experts group meeting from region and national levels and to share the findings of the research.
Objective 2. Conduct an in-depth review of the MUSANED platform to address the needs of women migrant workers and recommend ways to expand or develop this platform, including:
- Support to review of the Musaned system using a gender lens to identify and examine good practices, and provide recommendations for further the improvement of this platform. An in-depth review will contribute to better understanding of ethical recruitment in order to find possible way to monitor and implement contracts.
- Assist with substantial inputs to produce a report to the Government of Bangladesh on promoting the uptake of the Platform, ensuring the Platform meets the needs of women migrant domestic workers, and recommending ways to expand or further develop this platform.
Contract period and work location
The National consultant will be based in Dhaka, Bangladesh and work at the UN Women Office as required. Travel costs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for authorized travel outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh will be provided as required.
- Master’s degree in development related disciplines, gender issues, economics, law, international relations or other social science fields.
- Minimum 3 years of experience as researcher/programme officer in social development, with a substantial focus on gender issues and labour migration at national level;
- Strong command of English and Bangla.
- Strong grasp of substantive gender and migration issues in Bangladesh.
- Experience in intergovernmental recruitment mechanisms for labour migration.
- Substantive qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills on research;
- Strong ability to produce clear and well written case stories and reports;
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling the United Nations' values and ethical standards;
- Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of the UN and UN Women;
- Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability;
- Ability and willingness to work as part of a team to meet tight deadlines and produce high quality work.
Applications will be evaluated based on the cumulative analysis.
- Technical Qualification (100 points) weight; [70%]
- Financial Proposal (100 points) weight; [30%]
A two-stage procedure is utilised in evaluating the applications, with evaluation of the technical application being completed prior to any price proposal being compared. Only the price proposal of the candidates who pass the minimum technical score of 70% of the obtainable score of 100 points in the technical qualification evaluation will be evaluated.
Apply through: https://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=79332