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MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                         

September 29, 2014

EMBARGOED UNTIL: September 30, 2014

Media Contact:

Alissa Escarce

Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM)

From the United States: 1-855-234-9699

From Mexico: 01-800-590-1773


Contratados: Innovative Tool uses Tech and Art to Combat Abuse in Guest Worker Program


WHAT: On September 30th, 2014, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM) will launchContratados, a social justice initiative that uses technology and art to increase transparency and combat abuse in U.S. guest worker programs. Materials were designed and produced in collaboration with Research Action Design (RAD), Studio REV-, and the Migrant Defense Committee. The project, whose name refers to the process of being contracted under a temporary work program, is specifically directed to H-2 and J-1 workers from Mexico but can be used by workers of all backgrounds and visa categories. With an interactive website, a hotline, pocket-sized comics, audio novelas, and a transnational radio campaign, Contratados is a groundbreaking tool that provides workers with resources to more securely navigate the recruitment and employment process. Using the crowdsourcing website similar to and the accompanying hotline, workers themselves can write reviews of recruiters and employers and collectively fill critical gaps in publicly available information about international labor recruitment.


WHEN:            September 30, 2014

9:30 am EDT (English)

10:30 am EDT (Spanish)



Webinar site:

Meeting number: 8888086929

Code: 6708022


For  audio, use the dial-in information below:

888-808-6929 (US callers); 213-787-0529 (International callers)

Access Code:  6375256


WHY: International guest worker recruitment is an opaque process in which workers are often forced to make crucial migration decisions in a vacuum of reliable information. Migrant workers are commonly left to rely on the unconfirmed promises of recruiters, making them vulnerable to abuse.  Nearly half of workers surveyed by CDM accumulated debt to secure their jobs, and 58% paid illegal recruitment fees. Many were lured into exploitative positions with false promises, and one in ten had paid fees to fraudulent recruiters who took their money and disappeared. “These situations are often devastating for workers and their families, and can lead to debt bondage and human trafficking,” explained CDM Executive Director Rachel Micah-Jones. Contratados aims to give workers greater leverage in the recruitment process and to create a mechanism through which employers and recruiters can be held accountable for their actions.


WHO: Contratados is a project of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. The project was designed and produced in collaboration with Research Action Design (RAD), Studio REV-, and the Migrant Defense Committee.



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