Labour migration

ILO launches Global Media Competition on Labour Migration

The competition aims at encouraging quality reporting on labour migration to better protect migrant workers’ rights.

Media advisory | Global | 12 September 2019
GENEVA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) is launching its fifth annual Global Media Competition to recognize exemplary media coverage of labour migration. This year’s themes are ‘fair recruitment’ and ‘the future of labour migration’.

For the first time, the competition has a student prize category and the option for a fellowship prize.

The competition aims to promote quality reporting on labour migration issues. Across the world, migrants face prejudice, intolerance and stigmatization in their workplaces and communities. Negative public narratives can lead to abuse and exploitation, and challenge social cohesion.

Balanced and ethical reporting can play an important role in addressing stereotypes and misconceptions, and in highlighting the positive contribution migrant workers make in their origin and destination countries.

The winners will be selected by a panel of experts in international migration and journalism, based on creativity, accuracy and balance, protection of migrants, and positive portrayal of labour migration.

“This year the ILO celebrates it’s Centenary, marking 100 years of advancing social justice and promoting decent work. The Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work, adopted at the International Labour Conference in 2019, reaffirms the ILO’s mandate to protect all workers, including migrant workers, and highlights the need to promote equality of treatment and the elimination of discrimination against workers, particularly those in vulnerable situations” says Michelle Leighton, Chief of the ILO Labour Migration Branch and one of the competition judges.

“We will be seeking to identify journalists who have demonstrated their commitment to report in a fair and balanced manner to ensure greater public awareness about the contributions migrant workers bring to communities, and which are contributing to the elimination of public misperception, xenophobia and discrimination against migrant workers.”

The competition contributes to some of the targets of the recently adopted “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Global Compact for Refugees,” which include improving working conditions for migrant workers and shifting misperceptions of labour migration. It also helps raise awareness on decent work and migration, a topic which features strongly in the United Nations Declaration on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The competition is supported by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Federation of Journalists, Equal Times, Solidarity Centre, and Migrant Forum in Asia. This year's competition is organized with the support of the EU funded ‘Global Action to Improve the Recruitment Framework of Labour Migration’ (REFRAME) project, and the SDC funded ‘Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment – Phase II’ (FAIR II).

How to enter

Complete the online entry form in the category of either ‘professional’ or ‘student’ category. You can submit your piece in the following categories: written press, photo essay, multimedia, video and/or radio. See the full Terms and Conditions for details.

To qualify, entries must have been published between 1 November 2018 and 31 October 2019 (see Terms and Conditions for details). A submission in any language is welcome, however an English, French or Spanish translation must be included if the submitted material, or parts of it are in another language.

Key dates

31 October 2019 (23:59, Central European Time): Deadline for submissions, via the online entry form.

18 December 2019 (International Migrants Day): Competition winners will be announced (winners will be contacted in advance).


The competition will award four professional prizes (two in the category ‘fair recruitment of migrant workers’ and two for ‘the future of labour migration’ category) and one student prize. The winners will be able to choose between cash (US$1,000 in the professional category and US$300 for the student category) or a paid fellowship to participate in an ITC-Turin course on a fair recruitment or labour migration topic in 2020 (see full Terms and Conditions for details).

The thematic categories

Fair recruitment of migrant workers

Entries in this category should illustrate how international recruitment practices impact migrant workers’ lives, their chances of enjoying decent work, and their exposure to potential exploitation and abuse, gender-based violence, child and forced labour and trafficking in persons. Alternatively or additionally, it should show how properly regulated and governed labour recruitment across international borders can improve skills and job and the effective functioning of labour markets. See the ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative and the ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment and definition of recruitment fees and related costs.

The future of labour migration

Entries in this category should present migrant workers’ challenges and opportunities to access decent work in the context of current and future trends shaping the world of work, including globalization, rising inequalities, demographic changes, technological advancement, non-standard forms of employment, large numbers of workers in the informal economy as well as the need for gender equality, life-long learning and the creation of productive jobs. See the 2019 Report of the Global Commission on the Future of Work: Work for a brighter future