Several administrative and operative measures have been put in place to enhance the protection and welfare of emigrant workers and avoid their exploitation by unscrupulous agents. These include:
In pursuance of "Good Governance" initiatives, MEA launched an online Consular Grievances Management System named MADAD on 21 February 2015to extend a helping hand to Indians abroad requiring consular assistance. All Indian Missions and Posts abroad and the MEA's Branch Secretariats in Chennai, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Kolkata, are associated with this portal for consular grievance tracking and follow-up. The MADAD portal represents a qualitative improvement over existing procedures for handling of consular grievances, through online forwarding, tracking and escalation until their eventual resolution. It allows direct registration of the grievances by the members of the public and effective tracking of the entire grievance handling process thereafter. MADAD incorporates several innovative features such as a flexible architecture to handle a variety of grievances, online filing and linking of similar grievances for easier retrieval and reference, automatic escalation and enhancement of priority, colour-coded dash boards for easy assessment and monitoring, and has an associated call centre to help illiterate grievants. A mobile App for MADAD has also been launched.
The e-Migrate project has been rolled out in all Protector of Emigrants (PoE) offices with effect from 25th September, 2014. The project is designed for facilitating emigration of ECR category emigrants going to notified countries for employment purpose. The project helps in making the recruitment of workers a smooth process and mitigates the scope for malpractices. E-Migrate provides the Ministry a comprehensive and online database of emigrants, Recruiting Agents and Foreign Employersto make the whole emigration cycle faster and transparent and allows authentication/verification of credentials of all the stakeholders. Its comprehensive database also auto detects foreign employers (FE) with complaint cases pending against them and alerts the Protector of Emigrants (PoE) officials at the time of clearances of new recruitment for these foreign employers, who could be placed on a watch-list/black-list based on past complaints. The e-Migrate system is also integrated with insurance agencies providing the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) and it verifies the genuineness of the insurance policy details.
The Centre has been operational since 2008 and provides information to intending migrants and overseas workers on all aspects of overseas employment including requirements to obtain a legitimate work permit/visa for employment abroad. A multi-lingual 24 × 7 toll-free helpline is operated by the Centre to disseminate information and provide counselling on issues related to overseas employment.
Five Migrant Resource Centres have been set up in Kochi, Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Chennai and Lucknow to provide information and counselling for intending migrants on all aspects related to overseas employment. Functions of MRCs include informing walk-in applicants about procedure for legal migration and precautions to be taken while migrating; dissemination of status of Recruiting Agents and other service providers; kinds of difficulties that can be faced abroad by potential migrants etc. The OWRC is linked to the Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs).
An Indian Workers Resource Center (IWRC) has been operational in Dubai, UAE since 2010. It provides a 24X7 toll free multi-lingual help line, registration and monitoring of grievance petitions and facility to conduct awareness classes and counseling sessions to the needy Indians in the fields of legal, financial and medical needs in consultation with the Mission. Recently, proposals have been approved for setting up of similar helplines in Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and a walk-in counseling centre in Sharjah, UAE.
The following types of complaints are handled by the MADAD Portal:
IWRC Abu Dhabi Tel: 8004-6342 (24x7 toll free helpline); Overseas Workers Resource Centre (OWRC) Tel: 1800-11-3090 (24x7 toll free helpline) and 0124-2341002 (toll number).