MEXA Communiqué on Transparentem’s Report

MEXA Communiqué on Transparentem Report issued on December 2023

The Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) on behalf of its members in the export sector in Mauritius is absolutely committed to safeguarding and protecting the rights of all workers, irrespective of their nationality, and we confirm our strong commitment to ensuring the utmost well-being of both Mauritian and Migrant workers.

Transparentem has recently released a report that raises serious allegations relating to the treatment of migrant workers in the apparel sector in Mauritius.  Although independent audits failed to confirm some of the central issues identified by Transparentem, MEXA and its members nonetheless consider resolution of these issues to be of the highest importance.  The Transparentem report acknowledges the progress that has been made in protecting the rights of migrant workers in Mauritius.

Recognizing the important role played by migrant workers in bolstering Mauritius’ economy, MEXA, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has embarked two years ago on the project of developing a comprehensive Code of Conduct for the recruitment and employment of migrant workers in the Export sector.  The Code of Conduct was published this year in August 2023 and is a first ever collaborative effort involving Manufactures, Buyers, Trade Union Representatives, NGOs and Government. We have already started the next step of our journey, which is development of standards and a certification process for the Code of Conduct and some our members have already committed to adopting the code of conduct and undergoing the certification process.

MEXA and its members have fully collaborated with Transparentem throughout the investigation process. We recognise that there are some weaknesses in the current employment system of migrant workers in Mauritius. In line with our objective of improving our current system, MEXA has already come forward with strong measures to enhance the living and working conditions of migrant workers in Mauritius, as is recognized in the Transparentem report.

Additionally, MEXA is working closely with the Government of Mauritius to establish a robust and transparent framework for the employment and recruitment of migrant workers. One notable initiative is the Private Recruitment Agencies Act, which was enacted in October 2023. We are also encouraging the Government to implement bilateral labour agreements with the sourcing countries of migrant workers, whereby the responsibilities of all stakeholders (respective Governments, prospective employer and employees, and recruitment agents) are clearly spelled out and all recruitment costs are fully disclosed. MEXA also undertakes to carry out comprehensive pre-departure and post-arrival induction sessions for migrant workers to know their rights.

In line with international standards, MEXA together with its members will continue and redouble our efforts to forge a path towards fair and ethical recruitment and employment practices within the Mauritius apparel industry.

The Mauritius Export Association

Level 3, Currimjee Building, 6 Sir William Newton Street, Port Louis

Tel: +230 208 5216



December 2023