A new short film, ‘Far From Home’, highlights the importance of responsible recruitment to employers and migrant workers in North American agriculture

February 28, 2023 2:02 pm, Published by , Leave your thoughts

Far From Home, a new short film by Stronger Together US, seeks to raise awareness about the challenges faced by migrant workers in North American agriculture, and the importance of responsible recruitment practices to those involved in their recruitment and employment.   

Based on real-life scenarios and personal accounts, Far From Home tells the story of one family’s experience as H-2A agricultural workers, and their relationship with their farm labor contractor, who was once himself a worker. The film also highlights best practices and points to a better way forward for employers, recruiters, and farm labor contractors (FLCs), as well as support services from partner organizations.  

Workers migrating to the United States on a seasonal and temporary basis under the H-2A visa program frequently face exploitation from unscrupulous recruiters and employers. Despite their essential role in the agricultural sector, they often pay illegal recruitment fees, face gender discrimination, and experience withheld wage payments and the confiscation of passports and other legal documents to restrict their movement.  

Produced by Stronger Together US under a grant from the Walmart Foundation, the film aims to strengthen the voice of marginalized and vulnerable workers and provide insight into the often-hidden realities of labor exploitation in agriculture. The film also demonstrates what responsible recruitment can look like from the perspective of a former worker who is now a farm labor contractor and employer. 

“In creating this short film, we wanted to tell an authentic story that boosts the visibility of migrant farm workers and the risks they face when they are away from home. Film is a powerful tool for storytelling that can drive social change, so we also wanted to focus on solutions to an industry-wide challenge.” 

Veronica Ospina, Stronger Together Program Manager for US and Mexico

By raising awareness of the signs of hidden labor exploitation, Stronger Together hopes to further develop employers’ understanding of responsible labor practices and their importance in strengthening protections for workers by engaging FLCs that are committed to the Employer Pays Principle. The film will be used as a conversation tool in Stronger Together’s workshops and will be freely available for businesses and organizations working in this space to use for training and awareness-raising purposes. 

“As migrant workers often rely on labor brokers to facilitate their migration and employment, they are vulnerable to exploitation including being charged illegal fees during their recruitment. We hope that this short film will encourage employers to review their current practices so that all workers are recruited responsibly and meet the principles set out in the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices.”

Gavin Bailey, Senior Manager at the Walmart Foundation

Far From Home is now live on YouTube in English and Spanish.  

Watch, share, and be part of the ongoing conversation and efforts to strengthen responsible recruitment of H-2A workers in US agriculture. 

Stronger Together US provides business-friendly solutions to support the implementation and oversight of ethical labor practices. Sign up here to get involved, stay connected, and register for our upcoming training workshops on responsible recruitment and for access to resources to strengthen practices in your operations and labor supply chain. 

Far From Home (English subtitles): https://youtu.be/So03gD0_I6o   

Far From Home (Spanish subtitles): https://youtu.be/GWvhxa0n5sA 

See the Press Release.

Far From Home was shot on working farms in North Carolina and directed and produced by Made Outside and Wheelhouse Media. 

More information and contact details:   

Stronger2gether.org/us | usainfo@stronger2gether.org 

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