Videos on Fair recruitment

  1. A guide to fair recruitment of migrant labour

Fair Recruitment Initiative Newsletter

  1. July 2021 Edition

Fair recruitment

In today’s globalized economy, workers are increasingly looking for job opportunities beyond their home country in search of decent work and better livelihoods. In addition, millions of workers migrate internally in search of decent work. Public and private employment agencies, when appropriately regulated, play an important role in the efficient and equitable functioning of labour markets by matching available jobs with suitably qualified workers. However, concerns have been raised about the growing role of unscrupulous employment agencies, informal labour intermediaries and other operators acting outside the legal and regulatory framework that prey especially on low-skilled workers.

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 Fair Recruitment Initiative (FRI) was launched in 2014 as part of the ILO Director General’s call for a Fair Migration Agenda. Since its launch, the FRI has been critical to ILO’s work in the area of national and international recruitment of workers and has added renewed impetus and visibility to this important topic. Through the implementation of the first phase of the strategy between 2014-2019, the role of ILO and its constituents has expanded and the development of additional knowledge, tools and guidance has contributed to advancing the international debate on this subject.

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:
  1. are transparent and effectively regulated, monitored, and enforced;
  2. protect all workers’ rights, including fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW), and prevent human trafficking and forced labour;
  3. efficiently inform and respond to employment policies and labour market needs, including for recovery and resilience.
The 2021-2025 Fair Recruitment Initiative Strategy is grounded in four pillars.

Pillar 1: Enhancing, exchanging and disseminating global knowledge on national and international recruitment processes

  1. Data and measuring recruitment costs

    ●  Statistics for SDG indicator 10.7.1: Measuring recruitment costs

    ●  KNOMAD-ILO Migration and Recruitment Costs Surveys

  2. Global databases

    ●  Global database of national laws, policies and regulations (policies) that have defined recruitment fees and related costs

  3. Global knowledge generation

    ●  Establishing Fair Recruitment Processes: An ILO online training toolkit - Training course available as an interactive version (online) and as individual downloadable modules (PDF)

    ●  E-learning on fair recruitment processes for practitioners - ITC-ILO annual training course

    ●  ILO General principles for fair recruitment - A visual presentation

  4. Media engagement

    ●  Media engagement on forced labour and fair recruitment

    ●  Global Media Competition on Labour Migration

Pillar 4: Empowering and protecting workers

  1. Workers' empowerment

    ●  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