Labour inspection and monitoring of recruitment of migrant workers

With a view towards contributing to achieving fair recruitment of migrant workers, this paper offers an overview of the main challenges pertaining to monitoring of recruitment of migrant workers by labour inspectorates, along with suggested ways forward and pointers for possible action by the ILO.

Labour inspection responsibilities extend to all stages of the recruitment process. The ILO General Principle for Fair Recruitment 5 states that “Regulation of employment and recruitment activities should be clear and transparent and effectively enforced. The role of the labour inspectorate and the use of standardized registration, licensing or certification systems should be highlighted.” Furthermore, Operational Guideline 5.1 outlining the responsibilities of governments indicates that: "Governments should work to ensure that there is an effective and sufficiently resourced labour inspectorate, and that it is empowered and trained to investigate and intervene at all stages of the recruitment process for all workers and all enterprises, and to monitor and evaluate the operations of all labour recruiters.” However, inspection of recruitment processes remains challenging – leaving many vulnerable workers (including migrant workers and those in the informal economy), exposed to exploitation and abuse.

In order to further expand knowledge and advocacy on the role of the labour inspectorate in ensuring fair recruitment, the ILO Labour Migration branch and the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health branch commissioned a brief on fair recruitment and labour inspection, with the contribution of several projects (EU-REFRAME, SDC-FAIR II and SIDA-JLMP).


Type of document : Publication

Country/Region : Global

Year of publication : 2022