Eliminating forced labour: Handbook for parliamentarians No. 30

Effective legislation and regulations on recruitment processes, for both national and migrant workers, help to curtail forced labour and trafficking. Beyond adopting or amending legislation on recruitment, parliamentarians can request the adoption of implementing decrees and hold the government accountable for monitoring implementation. Promoting fair recruitment practices, and averting the occurrence or risk of forced labour through the recruitment process, must be a fundamental part of any forced labour prevention strategy. 

This handbook, co-published with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), aims to help parliamentarians to make their contribution to global efforts to effectively combat the scourge of forced labour.

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Ending child labour, forced labour and human trafficking in global supply chains

Promoting fair recruitment is a critical priority in the context of both international and internal migration. As discussed in PART 1, a key finding of recent ILO research is that recruitment abuses – and in particular the payment of illegal recruitment fees and related costs – are one of the main ways in which forced labour and human trafficking enters supply chains.

The adoption of laws and regulations to help ensure that workers and jobseekers are not charged recruitment or related costs, or subjected to other recruitment-related abuses – addressed in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and international legal standards – is therefore critical to broader efforts against forced labour and human trafficking.

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Reporting on forced labour and fair recruitment: An ILO toolkit for journalists

This toolkit provides information and advice to media professionals on how to report accurately and effectively on forced labour and fair recruitment. The toolkit includes the Media-friendly glossary on migration.

This toolkit is available in: ArabicEnglishFrenchSpanish.

The toolkit has been adapted to the national context in:

 

Click on each language to open the corresponding toolkit.

 

 

 

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Promising practices for fair recruitment

This list presents a series of promising fair recruitment practices and results from a stocktaking exercise undertaken five years after the launch of the Fair Recruitment Initiative (FRI).

 

Establishment of the National Union of Malagasy Domestic Workers (SENAMAMA) 
Code of Conduct for Ethiopian Overseas Private Employment Agencies 
Recruitment of health workers through bilateral labour agreements (BLAs): Kenya and the United Kingdom 
Madagascar alignment of labour code to newly ratified conventions 
Regulation of Private Recruitment Agencies in Uganda 
Law amendment concerning management of migrant workers in Thailand 
Revision of the Law on Contract-Based Overseas Workers 
Italian National Action Plan to tackle labour exploitation, unlawful recruitment and forced labour in agriculture 
Nepal – Bilateral labour agreements include provisions related to fair recruitment  
Bangladesh – Government capacity enhanced to promote fair recruitment in bilateral negotiations and arrangements 
Tunisia – Formation of a new body of inspectors for the recruitment industry  
India – Blacklisting employers and recruiters abroad to protect Indian migrant workers  
Piloting fair recruitment from Bangladesh to Qatar in the construction sector  
Fair recruitment pilot between Nepal and Jordan in the garment sector  
Mexico - Fair recruitment practice by recruitment agency adapted to COVID-19  
Code of Conduct on the fair recruitment of Filipino migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong (China)  
Code of Conduct in international supply chains by Responsible Business Alliance 
Commitment to fair recruitment and due diligence in the sugar and palm oil industry of Guatemala   (English) Guatemala – Compromiso con la contratación equitativa y la debida diligencia en el sector guatemalteco del azúcar y el aceite de palma (Español)
Zero recruitment fee policy for (migrant) workers in Jordan 
Guatemala – Outreach through trade unions including attention to COVID-19 (English) Guatemala – Difusión a través de los sindicatos, incluida la atención a la COVID-19 (Español)
Raising Pakistani migrant worker’s awareness of their right to fair recruitment

 

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ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative Strategy 2021-2025. Taking stock, moving forward

The Fair Recruitment Initiative (FRI) was launched in 2014 as part of the ILO 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. The 2021-2025 Strategy 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.

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Global estimates of modern slavery: Forced labour and forced marriage

The 2021 Global Estimates reveal that, at any time during the reporting period, 49.6 million people were victims of modern slavery, either forced to work against their will or to live in a marriage without their consent.

Among the victims of modern slavery, forced labour accounts for 27.6 million and forced marriage for 22 million. According to the same report, a significant portion of forced labour cases can be attributed to abuses that occur during the recruitment phase. This report therefore calls for the promotion of fair and ethical recruitment to protect workers from abusive and fraudulent practices during the recruitment and placement process, including the charging of exorbitant recruitment fees and related expenses by unscrupulous recruitment agencies and labour brokers.

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Case Studies Illustrating How Fair and Ethical Recruitment Considerations Can Be Integrated in the Procurement of Labour Recruiters’ Services

Although present literature provides guidance on fair and ethical recruitment, there is a lack of attention on how the procurement of labour recruiters’ services can be leveraged to prevent forced labour and exploitation in global supply chains. Labour recruiters have been essential not only in meeting the global demand for migrant labour, but also in ensuring the rights of migrant workers and upholding fair and ethical recruitment principles. This study focuses on the procurement process as an early step in managing forced labour risks for migrant workers when engaging with labour recruiters.  
 
To provide practical examples on improving procurement practices and integrating fair and ethical recruitment standards in the supply chain management of business enterprises, this research uses case studies, key informant interviews, and desk reviews to identify common challenges and barriers to the adoption of ethical procurement practices.  
 
The identified challenges and successes from actual cases further guide the recommendations to mainstream ethical recruitment in the procurement of labour recruiters’ services. In line with IOM’s mission, this study provides a strong foundation for building the case for labour recruiters to fulfill their responsibility to respect migrant workers’ rights.

 

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Lessons Learned Part 3: Policy and programme responses to unfree labour in destination countries for migrant women workers

This document describes the lessons learned by the Work in Freedom programme on policy and programme responses to unfree labour in destination countries for migrant women workers. This compilation was preceded by an earlier edition of Lessons Learned in October 2021 on recruitment of migrant workers, and another one in April 2021, on outreach to migrant women in areas of origin. It documents the lessons learned by the Work in Freedom Programme regarding policy and programme responses to unfree labour in destination countries for migrant women workers.

 

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Policy brief on anti-trafficking laws, policies and practices

Donors, Governments, international organizations, unions, employers and other civil actors often seek solutions to prevent human trafficking. This is a list of the ten most common misconceptions among policy makers, related facts and recommended laws, policies and practices drawing on the experience of the Work in Freedom Programme.

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Policy brief on policies related to migrants and unemployment in times of crisis

The purpose of this policy brief is to explain influence of misperceptions during times of economic crisis, on public discourse on migration and employment and recommend laws, policies and practices to overcome these misperceptions.

During times of economic crisis, public discourse on migration and employment tends to be influenced by several misperceptions. This is a list of the 10 most common misperceptions. This list highlights facts, recommended laws, policies and practices, drawing on the ILO’s Work in Freedom Programme. It was presented at the Kafala Reform Workshop on 11 March 2020 at Beirut, Lebanon by Mr Igor Bosc, CTA, Work in freedom Programme to the Minister of Labour and participants.

 

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