Use of digital technology in the recruitment of migrant workers

This research report shows that digital technology can play a significant role in making safe labour migration and fair recruitment a reality. It also gives valuable recommendations for how to make this happen.

Digital technology could be a game changer in migrant worker protection. The number of internet users around the globe continues to climb and the development of information and communications technologies (ICT) has been unprecedented since the onset of COVID-19. This has resulted in new digital products, including those aimed at migrant workers, such as apps, websites and web portals, internet radio, and electronic tickets.

How can digital ICT facilitate safe labour migration and fair recruitment? To answer this question, the ILO partnered with the United Nations University Institute in Macau to better understand why and how migrant workers use digital technology. A mixed-method study was carried out during the second half of 2020. It included a desk review, a survey, focus groups, key informant interviews, and a landscape analysis of relevant existing digital products.

Based on the research, the ILO is currently developing a short summary tool featuring tips and advice on how to design, develop and promote digital products for migrant workers. The ILO is also organizing a workshop for relevant stakeholders to share lessons from the research and discuss their implications. Participants in the workshop will jointly develop a roadmap setting out the next steps in unleashing the potential of digital technology for migrant workers.

The research is part of the Integrated Programme on Fair Recruitment (FAIR, phase II), which falls within the framework of the ILO’s Fair Recruitment Initiative (FRI).