The RADAR Program was created in 2015 as a tool to confront abuses occurring during the process of recruiting migrant workers under the H-2 visa system.
RADAR serves to hold employers in the United States (US) accountable for abuses committed by their recruiters in Mexico. In that sense, it focuses on investigating supply chains.
Abuses to labor rights in the H-2 Visa system respond to a variety of structural causes, for that reason, RADAR program has the particularity of being based on joint liability, meaning, that all the stakeholders involved in the recruitment should be aware of the abuses and assume co-responsibility.
When there is knowledge of a case of abuse during the recruitment, a contact telephone call is made.
It is determined if the case meets the characteristics of RADAR: Human rights violation during recruitment by a recruitment agent or company in Mexico.
Supply chains are investigated from the worker to the employer (labor supply chain), as well as that of employers, to the brands that finally sell the product/service to the consumer (product supply chain).
Supply chain stakeholders are notified.
Continuous monitoring of all the stakeholders involved in the process.
Mario is from Topolobampo, a port located in the township of Ahome in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Through some friends, he knew that a company in California, United States, was hiring temporary workers to grow raspberries under the H-2A visa.
Excited by the opportunity to go to work in the United States, he contacted Fermín and Cecilia, two people in charge of recruiting workers for a company in California.
Although, he initially thought it was good news that he was going to be hired but the conditions were very abusive. First of all, he had to pay 700 USD in cash to the recruiters.
Mario’s poor condition forced him to take out a loan in order to cover the requested fee with the hope of paying it back by the time he was working in California. In May 2019 he delivered the money.
Fermín and Cecilia told him that they would take care of all the visa paperwork, and they suggested him get ready to travel around July 2019.
Months passed and Mario received no more information. By August, Fermín and Cecilia had disappeared. Mario never went to work in the United States and now he must work triple shifts in Sinaloa to pay off the loan.
From RADAR, we investigated Fermín and Cecilia and found that they were recruiters for a company in California in 2018. However, thanks to information provided by the United States Department of Labor, we discovered that they were no longer hired as intermediaries. We sent a notification letter to the company to aware them of the illegally actions by their ex-intermediaries. Also, we ask them to help us with the contact of them.
Mario’s case has allowed other people in Topolobampo not fall for this type of fraud. Like him, many people are deceived by fraudulent recruiters. RADAR wants to eradicate those abuses in transnational labor supply chains.
The process begins when the US company seeks to hire foreign and temporary labor for which it is common to hire an intermediary (agents or recruitment companies).
The intermediaries will oversee mediating the recruitment process: searching for and selecting potential candidates, visa procedures, transfer, etc.
In the product supply chain are the large companies that sell the final products/services.
Brands hire a logistics company to manage their supply chain and it is common for the logistics company to seek the supply of the necessary materials and labor in countries where they can be obtained more cheaply.
Finally, there are the potential workers who are victims of abuse from recruitment, but who develop throughout the process: recruitment, hiring, workplace, return and rehiring.