Migration Policy Institute Policy Brief

"What We Know about Regulating the Recruitment of Migrant Workers"


“Private recruitment agencies orchestrate much of the migration process, from predeparture to return. They provide information, assistance, and even financial support (if migrants need help with up-front costs for documentation or smuggling); facilitate transit to and from the destination; and in some cases employ migrants directly. Agencies have also been know to advocate for migrant workers, by removing them from abusive workplaces or even organizing repatriation. But Migrants’ dependence on private agencies for so many services – in a cut-throat market that crosses multiple jurisdictions – also creates many opportunities for exploitation and abuse… While a consensus is building over the need for agency regulation, disagreements persist over the appropriate form and function of regulation. Existing recruitment regulations have several areas for further improvement…” Learn more