Capacity Building Program on Human Rights Advocacy and Migrant Workers in the Middle East (2015)

Program Dates: From 25 May to 30 May (2015)

Introduction of the Program

The Diplomacy Training Program (DTP), and Migrant Forum Asia (MFA) held a regional training course on human rights advocacy and migrant workers in the Middle East. This training program took place over 5 days in Qatar beginning May 25.(2015) Hosted by the Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University.

The training program has built the knowledge and skills to protect and promote the human rights of migrant workers.  It has enabled participants to more effectively use internationally agreed standards and mechanisms in their advocacy for the human rights of migrant workers in the Middle East.  The residential program also provided a valuable forum for the sharing of knowledge and skills, and build of support networks and collaboration between countries of origin and destination.

 What Did Participants Gain from the Program?       

  • Increased capacity to integrate knowledge of the international human rights framework, and specific human rights treaties including ICMW, ILO Conventions and human rights mechanisms and complaints processes into work to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers.     
  • Increased understanding of the role that civil society, NHRIs, and the UN system can play in the promotion and protection of human rights, including the rights of migrant workers.       
  • Knowledge and understanding gained from interaction with experienced practitioners – both trainers and facilitators and other participants.
  • The opportunity to build skills in strategic advocacy techniques including lobbying and media
  • The opportunity to develop collaborative working relationships across the region and between sending and receiving countries.

Training Methodology

The DTP recognizes and values the experiences and skills that participants bring to its programs. The opportunity to share experiences and lessons with other participants and trainers is one of the real benefits and highlights of participating in the program. The training methodology was interactive with an emphasis on group work, role plays, case studies and discussion. This training was conducted in Arabic and English, with simultaneous translation provided.

 Background to the Program

  • The treatment of migrant workers is one of the key human rights challenges of the region and the 21st Century.  Rapid economic change is driving more people to cross borders in search of decent work.  
  • Increasingly, it is women who are migrating for work, and women are particularly vulnerable to abuse and violations of their human rights.
  • Migrant workers are subject to discrimination, unsafe and unhealthy working conditions, non-payment of wages violence and detention.  
  • In many cases migrant workers are forced to live on the fringes of society, beyond the usual protection of the law. 
  • The abuses experienced by migrant workers are reported in heartbreaking stories the media in the Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia and in the reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. 
  • Effective advocacy is vital to narrowing the gap between internationally accepted standards and the real-life experiences of many migrant workers. 
  • This program assisted participants to work together in developing practical strategies to protect and promote migrant workers’ rights at the national and regional level.