In North-Macedonia, like everywhere else, lack of information, lack of labour opportunities combined with lack of social support, might encourage people to search online for work abroad and to accept dubious job offers. Open Gate/La Strada North Macedonia therefore started the project ‘Opportunity or Exploitation’ which directly targets national jobs seekers online, by building and promoting a fake online job recruitment platform ‘WORKinEU’
When it comes to online job offers, there are many, but it is very difficult to judge how many of them are actually real and offer the individual a safe working environment? This question was reason for our member Open Gate to establish the job platform, offering non-existing jobs in and out of the country.
Whenever a user would select the option to apply for any of the jobs offered, the platform provided information about (prevention of) labour exploitation. For transparency reasons, the website informed about Open, its contacts and work.
Nevertheless there was a huge response. ‘Only after a day from its airing we started receiving CV’s, applications and personal information from job seekers on a daily basis’, states Open Gate. The statistics showed that 5.934 users actively engaged (searched the jobs, clicked to apply etc.) and from them 271 sent emails, messages, calls etc.
Based on the experiment, Open Gate concluded that regardless all information and campaigning, the general population is still not adequately informed about human trafficking and labour exploitation and does not take sufficient care to check risks. Open Gate therefore believes that NGO’s should consider changing their approach and finding better and creative ways of preventing human trafficking.
The project was implemented in cooperation with the European Union and the Council of Europe, as one of the grantees of the joint initiative – “Horizontal Facilities for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022”