ILO launches 2017 global media competition on labour migration

The international competition aims at encouraging quality reporting on labour migration.

Media advisory | Global | 31 July 2017
GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO)  is launching a global media competition to recognize exemplary media coverage on labour migration.

The objective is to encourage quality reporting on labour migration. Such reporting is all the more significant as media often promotes a toxic public narrative based on nationality, national origin, gender and migratory status misperceptions, reinforcing prejudice, intolerance and stigmatization against migrant workers and their families.

While not overlooking the negative aspects (e.g. often a hard reality of exploitation and violation of human and labour rights), applicants are also encouraged to highlight the positive contribution of migrant workers to countries of origin, transit, and destination as well as the key aspects such as their fair recruitment.

The 2017 Global Media Competition on Labour Migration will be contributing to the UN TOGETHER campaign ( which has the purpose of encouraging global action in promoting non-discrimination and addressing the problem of rising xenophobia against refugees and migrants. All 193 Member States of the United Nations have committed to implementing the TOGETHER Campaign which will run until the end of 2018, when the UNGA is expected to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees.

The 2017 global media competition on labour migration is organized by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Organization of Employers, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Federation of Journalists, Equal Times, Solidarity Center, Human Rights Watch, and Migrant Forum in Asia, as well as the International Training Centre of the ILO. This year's competition is organized with the support of the EU funded project “Global Action to Improve the Recruitment Framework of Labour Migration (REFRAME) and the SDC funded project “Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment” (FAIR)"

The competition starts on 31 July 2017 and closes on 27 October 2017. Professional journalists are invited to submit a maximum of two entries, one per each of the two following categories:
  • Written articles (online or print articles)
  • Media Production (photo journalism, audio, video)
Articles should not exceed 8000 words and videos/multimedia should not be longer than 10 minutes. Submissions must have been published between 1 January 2016 and 27 October 2017 to qualify.

Entries submitted should address either one of the following 2 thematic areas: (i) Labour migration aspects (migrant workers’ contribution to the social and economic development of countries of origin and destination, the protection of their labour rights, the recognition of their skills, their labour market integration, their social protection, migrant workers in an irregular situation, their working conditions (particularly their wages, working time and occupational safety and health, migrant workers in the informal economy, their trade union rights, forced labour, child labour, and trafficking situations); or (ii) Fair recruitment of migrant workers (guided by the General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment).

Refugees and displaced persons, where they are employed as workers outside their own countries, are considered migrant workers. As such, submissions covering international migrant workers and refugees (participating in labour markets outside their own countries) will be accepted.


A total of four winners (one per category, per thematic area) will receive $1,000 USD each. Winning entries will be featured on ILO website and widely promoted as an example of good journalism.


To enter the competition, please fill in the online entry form before 27 October 2017 (latest 23:59, Central European Time). Entries are accepted in three languages: English, French, and Spanish. Entries in other languages will be accepted provided that the applicant presents a faithful translation in one of the three languages mentioned above. Winners will be officially announced on 18 December to mark International Migrants Day. For further enquiries, please contact:

Judgement Criteria

A panel of 5 distinguished judges will evaluate the top ten entries from each of the above-mentioned two categories. The decision of the ILO and judges on all matters relating to the contest is final, and no correspondence will be entered into at any stage. The ILO encourages entries that cover different aspects of labour migration and, as much as possible, reflect views of various concerned parties: government, employers, and trade unions’ organisations, migrant workers.

In addition to ensuring that competition submissions are aligned with the basic ethics of journalism, all submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Contributes to a better understanding of labour migration issues, and of migrants and refugees’ situation in the labour market, as well as fair recruitment of migrant workers’ issues;
  • Portrays a balanced opinion in reflecting the views of various stakeholders (migrant workers, governments, employers and trade unions);
  • Presents creative solutions to overcome labour protection and labour market integration challenges (e.g. if possible comparing the situation before and after the introduction of new legislation, a new migration policy, a bilateral labour agreement, etc.);
  • Helps combat stereotypes, xenophobia or discrimination in the labour market;
  • In particular, with respect to the first thematic area:
    • Portrays migrants’ contribution to the social and economic development of countries of origin and destination (e.g. filling labour and skills needs at all skill levels, contributing to the sustainability of social security systems, expanding the exchange of knowledge, technology, skills and commercial ties, and contributing to job creation as consumers of goods and services and tax payers, but also as micro-enterprise entrepreneurs);
    • Sheds light on success stories and positive practices, presenting, as much as possible the positive results of fair labour migration governance (e.g. fostering ILO standards-based anti-discrimination and equality of treatment/opportunities principles, as well as labour market integration, recognition of skills, and labour protection of all migrant workers and their family members);
    •  Shows labour migration challenges in terms of decent work deficits such as the lack of social protection, the situation of migrant workers in an irregular situation, their working conditions (particularly their wages, working time and occupational safety and health), migrant workers in the informal economy, lack of trade union rights, and migrants in forced labour, child labour, and trafficking situations, as well as migrant workers affected by discrimination, racism and xenophobia;
  • In particular, with respect to the second thematic area applicants are encouraged to:
    • Refer to international labour standards related to fair recruitment in line with the ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative;
    • Reflect on the impact of fair recruitment on migrant workers’ working and living conditions.
  • Gathers material using first hand sources;
  • Includes an English, French or Spanish translation which must be faithful to the original meaning if parts, or all, of the submitted entry are in another language;
  • Protects vulnerable groups, sources and other sensitive components of the story by not providing unnecessary information that could risk harming them (including visual identities, names, locations etc.);
  • Uses a rights-based terminology;
  • Participants who use the terms “illegal migrant” in their work will be disqualified since this term is considered to “stigmatize” migrants and their families1. Participants are requested to utilize the following terms: “non-documented”, “irregular migrant workers”, “irregular status”, or “migrants in an irregular situation”. Please refer to the ILO media glossary to know more about rights-based terminologies and language that the UN supports.

1. United Nations General Assembly: United Nations Resolution 3449, General Assembly, Thirtieth Session, 2433 plenary meeting, 9th December 1975.