Africa Regional Fair Recruitment Report: The recruitment of migrant workers to, within and from Africa

The “Africa Regional Fair Recruitment Report: The recruitment of migrant workers to, within and from Africa” comprises an expanded view of the recruitment of African migrant workers to disentangle the recruitment, migration and employment aspects of the process. It analyses the practices of the various actors that contribute to each of the three aspects, notably employers, recruiters and other service providers. It recommends that such dimensions be distinguished according to countries of origin and of employment, as well as by occupation, in order to respond to challenges encountered by migrant workers in terms of personal characteristics such as gender and level of education. Those dimensions are inter-connected, but may vary in relation to each other and can change over time.

The report demonstrates that various forms of unfairness in recruitment are widespread across Africa, particularly in the case of recruitment across borders, whether by formal or informal recruiters, and whether within Africa or to other regions. Unfairness in recruitment is often associated with the exacerbation of both vulnerability and decent work deficits in employment, as the literature and case study findings confirm. It emphasizes a number of findings from the country case studies on the recruitment of migrant workers in Africa and includes recommendations with a view of making recruitment fairer for national and migrant workers. Its analysis provides decision makers with the necessary tools to examine and improve the recruitment of migrant workers.

The report is grounded in a rights-based approach drawing on international labour and other human rights standards. It draws on the work of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR), including its relevant general surveys, observations and direct requests. In terms of secondary research, the report draws on ILO research, including work on labour migration and on recruitment fees and related costs. In terms of primary research, stakeholders interviewed included ILO staff, representatives of ministries of labour and other ministries, workers and employers’ organizations, migrant organizations, private employment agencies, public employment services, international organizations, and non governmental organizations working on recruitment issues. Lastly, it draws on academic literature and literature produced by other United Nations agencies, international organizations and civil society organizations.