To help protect the 244 million migrant workers from abusive employment practices, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has launched a new web platform to promote fair recruitment.
By enabling users to share reviews of recruitment agencies, the ITUC hopes to prevent unscrupulous recruiters from exploiting migrant workers – this includes false promises like fake jobs, lower wages and unsafe working conditions, as well as forced labour and other forms of modern slavery.
The Recruitment Advisor, developed by the ITUC with support from the ILO Fair Recruitment initiative, lists thousands of agencies in Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries.
The platform allows workers to comment on their experiences, rate the recruitment agencies and learn about their rights. Initially available in English, Indonesian, Nepali and Tagalog, it will be further developed in more languages.
Governments provided the list of licensed agencies and a network of trade unions and civil society organisations in all target countries ensures the sustainability of the platform by reaching out to workers and speaking to them about their rights.
Public and private recruitment agencies, when appropriately regulated, play an important role in the efficient and equitable functioning of both the migration process and labour markets in countries of destination, by matching the right workers with specific labour needs and labour markets, as well as creating invaluable skills assets for countries and communities of origin when workers return home.
Ultimately Recruitment Advisor will promote recruiters who follow a fair recruitment process based on ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment and will provide useful feedback to governments regarding the practices of licensed recruitment agencies, which could be used to complement more traditional monitoring systems.
Recruitment is a critical stage when migrant workers are more vulnerable to abuse. ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow highlights that;
“Unscrupulous recruitment agencies take advantage of the lack of law enforcement by governments or because workers are simply not aware of their rights. It’s time to put power back into workers’ hands to rate the recruitment agencies and show whether their promises of jobs and wages are delivered.”
The purpose of the platform is to help migrant workers make critical choices when planning to work in a foreign country. ILO technical specialist Alix Nasri outlines that:
“We know that when a worker is recruited fairly, the risk of ending in forced labour is drastically reduced. We strongly encourage workers to share their experiences so others can learn from them. A critical mass of review is needed for the platform to be really helpful for migrants.”
Burrow also explained the need for a collective solution to stop unsustainable practices in the recruitment industry:
“An organised workforce cannot be enslaved, but when there is a governance failure and no law enforcement, then slavery can flourish. Together we will stop unscrupulous recruitment practices, we will eliminate slavery in the supply chains and we will end modern slavery.”
Read the full report by the ITUC here.
Access the Recruitment Advisor Platform.
Join the ILO, IOE and ITUC to end modern slavery. Sign up to the 50 for Freedom campaign.