Kamil Lakshman –
There is the power of intention, thoughts, words and actions which could then translate into belief, if a breeding ground exists.
These words seem clichés, like titles of best seller books. However, it is universal truth. Many wars have been waged on this premise. The likes of Hitler have lead others to commit atrocities. The likes of Gandhi have lead others to the path of freedom.
Your thoughts have the power to influence another’s thought process which can then have a snow ball effect. Fashion is another good example; one way of dressing/appearance grabs the imagination of another. With appropriate positioning, it very quickly becomes the norm with an opening for a lucrative business venture.
Culture and social norms adapt and change in this way. Some idea is introduced that has the power to influence. It brings about a change and a way of being that moves from a spectrum of unacceptability to acceptability. In other words, ‘it catches fire.’
One such thought that is fast taking hold is exploitation. Examples of it have recently been seen in the migrant community – one migrant exploiting another for financial gain.
In some cases, the exploited migrant is not only, but also complicit, while in other cases, the exploited migrant has no choice.
Sometimes the one that has been exploited, in turn has the potential of becoming the exploiter once he or she gets that ability.
What is being taught is that this becomes a potential way of engaging.
In New Zealand the breeding ground has been cultivated. How so?
It is because of our current model of international student recruitment and immigration policies. The model may achieve the education outcome; that is, to give education qualification. It may even achieve the immigration objective which includes economic and settlement outcomes but has the potential of a dubious social outcome.
What is meant by dubious social outcome is that some migrants pay for jobs, work without pay and provide fictitious documentation to gain New Zealand residence.
This is how competitive advantage is gained in some cases; it is said that for some companies, such dubious methods are critical for survival.
The stakeholders may insist that the education outcome is distinct from the immigration outcome but in reality there is no distinction. The two are interrelated and go as a package. That is what is being bought. If the education pathway does not lead to a resident visa, then for some, the purpose for gaining that qualification is in vain.
Education is not being seen as an end in itself. It is being viewed as a means to this end. Why? The policy framework settings enable the package to be sold in this manner. It gives the the ability to dangle a carrot of potential residency.
Thus far we have been attempting to seek solutions by addressing the symptoms. However, there has been no real incentive to tinker with the golden egg in case it stops being golden. Considered holistically, we have bigger problems to deal with then has been apparent, so tackling the golden egg is now becoming imperative.
If we are really serious about addressing this issue of migrant exploitation, which in my opinion has the potential of snowballing into the mainstream workplace practices, then the root of the problem has to be addressed and addressed fast.
Otherwise New Zealand will be seeing a very different work place ethos and a developing underworld which may be out of reach to monitor, police and shut down despite the penalties in place.
The power of thought is manifested because the breeding ground exists.
Kamil Lakshman is a Lawyer & Principal of Wellington based law firm Idesi Legal Limited. She can be contacted on (04) 4616018 or 021-1598803. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; The opinions expressed in her article above are her own and not that of Idesi Legal Limited or the New Zealand Law Society, or its Wellington Branch, or its affiliated bodies and committees or Indian Newslink. Readers can send their comments (names can be withheld) to email@example.com