Formation of a new body of inspectors for the recruitment industry in Tunisia
- Responsible Organisations: Government of Tunisia (Government)
- ILO Regions: Africa
- Country(ies): Tunisia
- Thematic areas: Fair recruitment
- MLFLM: 13.
In 2017, the ILO conducted a "Diagnostic on the processes of worker recruitment in Tunisia". The Diagnostic, which had been prompted by concern for Tunisian workers who had faced recruitment irregularities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), issued a number of recommendations towards improving labour recruitment processes for Tunisians seeking to work abroad. One of these recommendations called for legislative reform. A tripartite committee was convened by the ILO to consider the reform. In 2019, it submitted the "Law on the organisation of the exercise of the activities of placement of Tunisians abroad by private agencies" (or Recruitment Law), which was approved by the Council of Ministers on 8 May 2019. The new law extends the State’s authority to deliver sanctions to recruitment agencies that do not comply with defined operational and procedural standards. The Ministry of Labour then approved the formation of a new inspectorate, to monitor and enforce the implementation of the Recruitment Law. A job description was accordingly defined and validated by relevant ministries. With ILO’s support, the Ministry of Labour then developed comprehensive guidance and tools to equip the new inspectorate, and a training programme to build it’s capacity.
Proof of impact/progress
The following has been achieved since the diagnostic:
- Strengthened legislation extending the state’s authority to regulate the activities of private recruitment agencies. Article 13 of the Recruitment Law clearly mentions that it is forbidden for private recruitment agencies to receive - directly or indirectly - any financial payments from prospective migrant workers; Article 11 of the Law spells out the essential elements that must be clearly mentioned in any employment contract.
- The creation of an inspectorate specifically dedicated to inspecting private recruitment agencies placing Tunisians abroad with a view to ensuring fair recruitment. Importantly, the new inspection unit has the authority to issue dissuasive sanctions against recruiters who commit irregularities/break the law.
- The Office of Emigration and Foreign Manpower has become a general directorate and several private employment agencies have submitted necessary documentation to the ministry to regularize their status.
Other promising features
Novelty/Level of innovation
The newly created inspection body is specifically geared towards monitoring private recruitment agencies, and has been given the authority to issue a range of sanctions, which gives it extra-ordinary powers to ensure compliance with the new Recruitment Law and principles of fair recruitment.
Potential for replication
ILO Nepal is considering dialogue with national stakeholders in view of replicating the Tunisian practice, and other countries may follow suit.