Piloting fair recruitment from Bangladesh to Qatar in the construction sector
- Responsible Organisations: Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs of the State of Qatar and the ILO Project Office for Qatar (Government)
- ILO Regions: Arab States; Asia and the Pacific
- Country(ies): Bangladesh; Qatar
- Thematic areas: Fair recruitment
- MLFLM: 13.
- Sectors: Construction
The pilot intervention started with an external on-site audit of a sub-contractor of a large construction company in Qatar and a private recruitment agency in Bangladesh. Assessing compliance against ILO’s General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment, the audit mapped out the entire recruitment process; identified gaps in existing systems, policies, and procedures; and assessed the organizations’ capacity to comply with fair recruitment. Based on the results of the assessment, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) in Qatar and ILO provided tailored training and tools to expand the capacity of the management and staff of the sub-contractor and the private recruitment agency to comply with fair recruitment. The service agreement between the sub-contractor and the private recruitment agency was amended. Procedures and tools were developed to establish an effective grievance and workers’ communication system during the recruitment process. The pilot also worked with the sub-contractor and the private recruitment agency to build a comprehensive pre-departure programme for workers going into the Qatari construction sector. An independent impact assessment has been conducted together with Tufts University and Associates for Community and Population Research to measure the socio-economic impact of the pilot.
Proof of impact/progress
The pilot covered 142 workers from Bangladesh and the final report of the impact assessment indicates that the workers who were recruited after the pilot intervention, reported paying no or less recruitment fees compared to workers who were recruited before the intervention (i.e. the average cost of migration dropped by 92% after the pilot engagement in comparison to the average costs before the sub-contractor adopted fair recruitment).
In addition, the workers reported less concern regarding payment of debt, more control over their decision to migrate, and were more likely to learn about actual pay and hours before making the decision to migrate. More specifically: Around 93 % of workers interviewed after the pilot reported not having any debt. Furthermore, the workers recruited after the pilot intervention have a better understanding of their pay and report less tolerance for abuse from the employer or the clients of the employer where the workers are placed for work.
Other promising features
Externalities and use of pilot learning
The pilot has informed the hospitality guidance tool that the ADLSA-ILO hospitality working group (consisting of over 40 hotels operating in Qatar) developed. It includes specific actions that hotels can undertake to carry out effective due diligence of their recruitment practices.
Potential for replication or extension
Currently, the ILO Project Office for Qatar and ADSLA are implementing a similar fair recruitment pilot in the hospitality sector, using the learnings of this pilot.