Wickramasekara, P. and Ruhunage, L. K. (2018). Good practices and provisions in multilateral and bilateral labour contracts and declarations of intent by the International Labour Organization. 92P. Accessible: www.researchgate.net/publication/330933589_Research_report_on_good_practices_and_provisions_in_multilateral_and_bilateral_labour_agreements_and_memoranda_of_understanding OECD countries alone have set up more than 170 BLARs (ILO/IOM/OSCE, 2007). In addition, according to the ILO, the Philippines, with a total of 13 (ILO, 2019), is the country of origin with the most BLAs. An example of an agreement that contains specific social protection provisions is the Agricultural Workers Program of Canada (SAWP) with Mexico. This BLA specifically provides temporary workers in the agricultural sector with partial social protection that guarantees access to social security and health care (Panhuys et al., 2017). Today, millions of people around the world migrate in search of a job to earn a living. Migrant workers face a large number of vulnerabilities and challenges in their destination countries, including access to social protection.
Access is hampered by migration, (non) employment, residency and the most important citizenship status (Fornalé, 2017). In addition, migrant workers face the risk of losing social benefits in their country due to their absence (ILO/ICAO/OSCE, 2007). Although the BLA and MOUs have the potential to play a decisive role in accessing social protection for migrant workers while abroad and to contribute to a triple profit situation for all concerned, they are far from ideal. In the ILO`s view, BLAs require appropriate management and monitoring to ensure that the provisions are effectively implemented. Such monitoring is generally poor, paying more attention to employment conditions than to the protection and well-being of migrant workers (ILO, 2019). Bilateral employment contracts (BLA) and Declarations of Intent (MOU) have become popular instruments for protecting migrant workers to address the challenges of social protection accessibility (Wickramasekara, 2015). The International Labour Organization (ILO) has recognized BLAs and GEMEIN as a good practice in managing labour immigration (Wickramasekara and Ruhunage, 2018). Although the BLA and the CEECs are primarily aimed at regulating the working relationship of migrant workers, they have remarkable potential to minimize the vulnerability and precariousness of workers abroad, particularly in the area of social protection. This can be achieved by incorporating a specific reference to the provisions and provisions of social protection (Panhuys et al., 2017).
Chilton, A. S. and Posner, E. A. (2017). Why countries sign bilateral employment contracts, Coase-Sandor Institute of Law and Economics Working paper n.