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Jon Purizhansky's black swan Joblio

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Nobody ever thought that anything or anyone would be able to break apart the hegemony of global labor force human trafficking. Jon Purizhansky's Joblio might just be the disruptor needed to succeed.

Jon Purizhansky's black swan Joblio

Jon Purizhansky

“Migrant workers are looking for any opportunity to learn a new skill,” notes global relocation expert and Joblio CEO Jon Purizhansky. “Workers will eagerly pursue any learning opportunity they’re afforded, benefiting everyone. We just have to be willing to meet them in the middle.”

Human trafficking isn’t only defined by sex work, human trafficking also includes the de facto global slave trade of low-wage workers around the world who live both well below the poverty level and under the civil rights radar. Whether you call them undocumented workers, indentured servants, or simply slaves, there’s been very little accountability or transparency. 

Until now, there has been very little anyone could do because both governments and businesses need lots of low-skilled workers who can physically and conveniently do work as affordably as possible. The only thing to do is to make sure your business or government always remained as plausibly deniable as possible: see no evil, hear no evil. Plus, there weren’t any other options.

There were broker syndicates that worked in the shadows, were black-boxed, and who provided ask-me-no-questions-and-I’ll-tell-you-no-lies workers by the container shipload. Until now, the pressing need for a cheap, affordable, and fungible workforce around the world always trumped things like human rights or the humane treatment of workers. That is until Jon Purizhansky launched Joblio.

Joblio from Jon Purizhansky

Joblio is, to me, to the real world of on-site migrant workers what UpWork is to offshore virtual workers. It’s the real-world staffing version sites like UpWork or Fiverr. Everything is tracked, every transaction is transparent and accountable. The Joblio service brings the worker out of the shadows and gives them much more agency and protection than they surely have in the completely unregulated wholesale buy, sell, and trade of bulk human capital. 

In the past, I am sure the lack of a service like Joblio was blamed on technology, on logistics, on computing, on any number of things; however, those were probably excuses used to keep the worker slave trade status quo. But, that was just a smokescreen that Jon Purizhansky changed when he launched Joblio in 2020.

According to Jon Purizhansky’s website, “Joblio is empowering corporate employers and international leaders to uphold human rights around the globe. By circumventing harmful middlemen who prey upon vulnerable migrants, Joblio is injecting transparency and ethics into a shadowy industry plagued by corruption.

With the help of its global network of ambassadors, Joblio is dedicated to raising awareness about the struggles facing migrant laborers everywhere.” In support of “preventing fraud and ensuring compliance with labor laws, Joblio is shifting power back into the hands of the workers who fuel our global economy.”

Jon Purizhansky, the winner of the Abrahamic Business Circle’s “Excellence Innovation Award in Human Rights Protection, is a New York immigration lawyer who is committed to cleaning up the global migration industry and helping migrant laborers achieve their full potential.

While assuredly a business home run unicorn, Joblio is clearly, first and foremost, a passion project for Purizhansky. According to an interview that Jon Purizhansky did for Monaco Life, “I’m a refugee myself. I was born in Belarus in the former USSR and when I was 16, my family ran away to Austria with nothing, then to Italy. I was a stateless person in Europe in my teens.” So, Purizhansky didn’t just come up with an HBS-style business plan to fill a hole in the market but is contributing some cosmos to the chaotic world he experienced as a teen himself.

According to a report by the ILO, “At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery, including 24.9 million in forced labor and 15.4 million in forced marriage” and “14.2 million (68%) are victims of forced labor exploitation in economic activities, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work or manufacturing,” according to ILO statistics.

With the introduction of Joblio in 2020 by Jon Purizhansky, international business, the global economy, and sovereign global governments can no longer hide in the fog of war associated with how unknowable and invisible the provisioning of manual labor is in the economy of the past. In the past, it was logistically too complex and impossible to track and audit without breaking down the entire system like a house of cards. Now, with the Joblio platform, public and private multinationals and governments can now be held to account with regards to the delta between who and what they say they are and how they actually treat their migrant, immigrant, and domestic manual labor force.

 “In addition to forced labor, many vulnerable groups also face the grim prospect of forced marriages and forced medical procedures,” says Jon Purizhansky.

And human trafficking isn’t a relic of the past. As war- and climate- and remittance-based migration becomes more common and more necessary during times of famines, unrest, organized crime, pandemic-related inflation, and other reasons for global displacement, the levels of human trafficking, human slavery, and the indentured servitudes from floods of men and women without countries, without support, without documentation, and without hope.

When you’re faced with imprisonment and slaughter, even slavery is sometimes preferable to certain death, especially if there’s a price on your head back at home, as is the case for many of the displaced.  The global community must remain vigilant and recognize this growing problem before it gets even worse.

“Far too often, employers think that they just have to get workers here and integration will naturally occur,” notes Jon Purizhansky. “In reality, we have to invest in migrant communities and remember their humanity rather than simply exploit them as a source of labor.”

By providing Joblio-provided community management services for migrant workers, employers can drastically reduce expensive worker turnover while bolstering productivity and social cohesion across the workforce, including language support and community shopping trips. Joblio allows employers to help migrant workers upskill and integrate themselves into local communities.

“Migrant workers are looking for any opportunity to learn a new skill,” notes global relocation expert and Joblio CEO Jon Purizhansky. “Workers will eagerly pursue any learning opportunity they’re afforded, benefiting everyone. We just have to be willing to meet them in the middle.”

Most migrant workers have never experienced any level of agency or accountability for misbehavior and abuse. There’s generally no expectation of justice or rights when you’re fighting for basic food, water, shelter, and a modicum of income and safety at all. Migrant workers need to be told that they have rights and that they deserve justice. Then, they need to see it in action. Only after migrants are aware of their human rights and local norms can they truly integrate.

When I lived in Berlin and was jumping through the hoops required by the German government to keep my residency permit, I was mandated to attend both German language and civics courses. Germany is very aggressive when it comes to its integration strategy when it comes to migrant and guest workers. Unfortunately, many migrants have learned to distrust the government, so government integration initiatives are often insufficient, making private sector integration efforts all the more important.

Joblio was designed to be a technology platform to support the global migrant labor industry with the sole purpose of preventing fraud and ensuring compliance with international and local human rights and labor laws in the processes of global human capital relocation. Joblio connects migrant workers with the employers, removing the middleman and the shadowy criminal world of the agent and the broker—and even the coyote.

Again from the Monaco Life interview:

“This is how the European Union gains illegal immigration, crime and all sorts of human rights violations. All this stems from the fact that unskilled labor is recruited unethically today across the world. The agents are transactional, and they add zero value. Joblio is a technology-powered, social impact project, a private enterprise that connects unskilled and low-skilled prospective labor migrants with employers in the developed world.  Technology can connect employers and employees directly, driving out the middleman. With around 40% of Sub-Saharan adults and over 90% of south-east Asia with smartphones, Joblio is becoming ever more accessible even to the most modest of migrant workers.”

According to the interview, Joblio maintains three sets of legal expertise–immigration law, tax law, labor law–in client countries so that they can advocate for their labor pool for the entirety of their employment in guest countries and until their safe return to their home country.

Nobody ever thought that anything would be able to break apart the hegemony of global labor force human trafficking. Joblio’s success is, in fact, a black swan event.  A black swan event, by definition, is “comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight,” which is exactly how Joblio has taken the black market of the international migrant workforce and exposed it to the disinfectant of transparency and accountability.

All of this has already borne fruit in the form of the Abrahamic Business Circle’s Excellence Innovation Award in Human Rights Protection, which is only one of many, to be sure. Joblio was only launched in 2020 so it’ll be exciting to see how it changes the lives of people and families and women and children around the world, one registered account at a time.

I look forward to seeing Joblio disrupt the entire world of international migrant labor forces around the world the same way that UpWork disrupted online gig virtual “in the cloud” offshore labor.

Jon Purizhansky

Nov 11, 2021 03:37 PM