Recruitment Monitoring & Migrant Welfare Assistance: What Works?

As numbers of temporary labour migrants have rapidly increased over the past four decades, facilitating international migration has become a highly profitable and multi-faceted business. Human rights defenders, civil society organisations, journalists and academics have consistently exposed exploitation of migrants which occurs during recruitment processes. Abuses include high recruitment fees that lead to debt bondage, the processing of fake employment and immigration documents, confiscation of identity documents, and emotional and physical violence, or even trafficking for forced labour. On arriving in many destination countries migrants are left unprotected and vulnerable to more exploitation.

This study, conducted by an international research team between January and April 2014, reviews existing recruitment monitoring mechanisms and migrants’ access to rights and welfare assistance across Colombo Process Member States (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam), and key destination states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen).  With analysis presented thematically, the report concludes with a series of recommendations for Colombo Process governments.

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Promoting Labour Inspection’s role on recruitment


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Relevant thematic content



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Global labour recruitment in a supply chain context

This working paper discusses regulatory models and other measures available to stop abusive recruitment practices. It seeks to explain why the labour recruitment market operates as it does, and to propose responses that combat those market forces which create an environment conducive to abuse and fraud.


The paper suggests an approach that reshapes the market for recruitment services by engaging with employers in destination countries at the top of the labour supply chain, who could play a key role in influencing the recruitment business worldwide.

It presents several case studies through which this approach was tested through regulatory efforts, such as the Philippines, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, several Canadian provinces; and in three agreements negotiated with employers by United States agricultural workers’ organizations to govern the terms of recruitment for migrant workers further down the chain.

This paper draws on these public and private sectors’ case studies to propose regulatory and market approaches that promote fair recruitment practices.



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The Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment

  • 12th April 2020

  • Time : 9:00am - 5:00pm

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