One in four victims of forced labor globally is a migrant — nearly six million people. Throughout their experience (the recruitment process, at their destination, and upon their return), the migrant is always in a place of disadvantage or vulnerability.
Recruiters are often incentivized to place those who are willing to pay rather than those who are best fitted for a job and are less invested in making sure migrants are prepared for work abroad. Ethical employers and recruiters struggle to compete with unethical or outright exploitative recruiters who have dominated the market for decades.
Evidence clearly shows there is a direct relationship between lower recruitment fees, lower debt, and higher remittances to families and communities. Ethical recruitment can help migrant workers achieve upward social mobility in the long term and offers great promise to ensure that labor migration leads to successful outcomes, and not to exploitation.
For the advancement of ethical recruitment to be effective and sustainable, governments, the private sector and NGO community must work together on a holistic approach to promote a labor market in which ethical recruitment is the global standard. This discussion provided stakeholders a chance to better understand these initiatives and how the promotion of ethical recruiting will be integrated into this work.
Cover photo credit: defika hendri on Unsplash
Program Manager, Global Fund to End Modern Slavery
Director, Global Government Affairs, Walmart
Head of Migrant Workers Programme, IHRB
Senior Advisor to the Director, U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in ...
Head, Labour Migration Unit, IOM