Reported abuses involve one or more of the following: deception about the nature and conditions of work; retention of passports; illegal wage deductions; debt bondage linked to repayment of recruitment fees; threats if workers want to leave their employers, coupled with fears of subsequent expulsion from a country. A combination of these abuses can amount to human trafficking and forced labour. Despite the existence of international labour standards relating to recruitment, national laws and their enforcement often fall short of protecting the rights of workers, and migrant workers in particular.
In response to those challenges, the ILO launched a global "Fair Recruitment Initiative”.
Fair Recruitment Initiative
The 2021-2025 FRI Strategy (Phase II) will continue to be grounded in relevant international labour standards (ILS), global guidance, and social dialogue between governance institutions and actors of the labour market – i.e. those who directly experience the challenges and opportunities of implementing fair recruitment practices. The FRI has combined global policy dialogue, knowledge and data generation with on-the-ground interventions where tools are tested, implemented, and expertise created.
Its vision is to ensure that recruitment practices nationally and across borders are grounded in labour standards, are developed through social dialogue, and ensure gender equality. Specifically, they:
- are transparent and effectively regulated, monitored, and enforced;
- protect all workers’ rights, including fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW), and prevent human trafficking and forced labour;
- efficiently inform and respond to employment policies and labour market needs, including for recovery and resilience.
Pillar 1: Enhancing, exchanging and disseminating global knowledge on national and international recruitment processes
Data and measuring recruitment costs
Global knowledge generation
● Establishing Fair Recruitment Processes: An ILO online training toolkit - ITC-ILO training material
● Training toolkit on establishing fair recruitment processes - ITC-ILO course
● ILO General principles for fair recruitment - A visual presentation
Pillar 2: Improving laws, policies and enforcement to promote fair recruitment
Pillar 3: Promoting fair business practices
Business and private sector engagement
Pillar 4: Empowering and protecting workers
● Recruitment Advisor - A global recruitment and employment review platform
● Trade union action to promote fair recruitment for migrant workers - The brief highlights trade union action to promote and protect fair recruitment for migrant workers