The ILRWG seeks to end the systemic abuse of international workers recruited to work in the US.

By convening workers’ rights...

Initiatives

Many stakeholders have taken steps to promote responsible recruitment in supply chains. Do you know about a responsible recruitment initiative that is not mentioned here? Please let us know.

Verité: An Ethical Framework for Cross-Border Labor Recruitment

Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment's Code of Ethical Conduct for Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies/Licensees

Alliance of Asian Associations of Overseas Employment Service Providers

Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices

FSI Worldwide

UK Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity

International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies

International Tourism Partnership

GMS Triangle Project

ILO - Promoting Decent Work Across Borders

Work in Freedom

International Labor Recruitment Working Group

Staff Wanted Initiative

Stronger Together

International Recruitment Integrity System

UNI Global/Ciett Memorandum of Understanding

UN Women: Covenant of Ethical Conduct and Good Practices of Overseas Employment Service Providers

Executive Order: Strengthening Protections against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts

VAMAS Code of Conduct

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR): No Fees Initiative

Wilmar: No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO): Human Trafficking: Oversight of Contractors’ Use of Foreign Workers in High-Risk Environments Needs to Be Strengthened

 

 

 

 

Verité: An Ethical Framework for Cross-Border Labor Recruitment

In 2012, Verité launched the Ethical Framework for Cross Border Labor Recruitment with the ManpowerGroup, setting out an innovative mechanism for changing the way the recruitment industry responds to forced labor and human trafficking. The Framework establishes Standards of Ethical Practice based on the Ciett Code of Conduct and consistent with ILO Convention 181 and core labor standards. It identifies benchmarks to help measure compliance to the standards and outlines the basic requirements of independent systems of verification and certification so that recruiters themselves, as well as employersand other stakeholders can confidently know whether recruitment practices are observing and upholding ethical standards. Learn more.

Code of Ethical Conduct for Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies/Licensees

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment published a Code of Ethical Conduct for Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies/Licensees in November 2013.  The Code was developed in order to regulate the practices of recruitment agents and improve professionalism, accountability and transparency in the industry.  It encourages Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies (LFEA) to develop ethical standards and guidelines consistent with the Decent Work Policy of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan regulations and International Labor Standards. The Code also requires LFEAs to “protect the industry and their clients against fraud, misinterpretation and unethical practices,” including a prohibition on contract substitution and regulations on the charging of recruitment fees. Agencies are expected to take measures to ensure that child labor, forced labor, and trafficking in persons are not employed. If they occur, LFEAs are required to cooperate fully with law enforcement. The code is expected to help establish cooperation between the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and other stakeholders with the goal of improving foreign employment practices. The ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives supported the creation of the Code. Learn More

Alliance of Asian Associations of Overseas Employment Service Providers

The Alliance of Asian Associations of Overseas Employment Service Providers was created in April 2008 at a regional conference in Manila, Philippines convened by the International Organization for Migration and the European Commission. The conference was titled “Organizing the Association of Employment Agencies in Asia: Moving Forward to Action on Ethical Recruitment.” The aim of the Alliance is to establish a credible, ethical organization to provide gainful overseas employment to improve people’s lives. The conference resulted in the adoption of a “Commitment to Action in Pursuit of Ethical Recruitment”, with participants committing to establish advocacy programs on the rights of migrant workers, enhance partnerships with government, implement employer training programs and exchange information, ideas and examples of good practice in the industry. Most recently the Alliance met in Manila on April 2, 2014 where it agreed upon a new Outcomes Document, in which it reaffirmed the 2008 Commitment and adopted the Joint Plan of Action for Ethical Recruitment. Part of the plan was to adopt an annual monitoring system of the implementation efforts and to establish a rotating term of office for its Secretariat. Learn more.  

Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices

The Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices is a non-profit multi-stakeholder organization. It aims to ensure that international recruitment into the United States is conducted in a fair and transparent manner by certifying and monitoring recruiters and employers who adhere to the Voluntary Code of Ethical Conduct for the Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Health Professionals to the United States. The Code provides a voluntary framework for corporate self-governance and sets forth practical standards and guidelines for promoting fairness, honesty, and corporate social responsibility in all recruitment practices. The Alliance also conducts educational outreach to migrants on their rights and responsibilities. Learn more

FSI Worldwide

FSI Worldwide is a workforce solutions company that offers services in recruitment, management, consultancy, and training to companies in the security, maritime, construction, rail, oil & gas, hospitality, facilities management and maintenance sectors. FSI owns and manages its recruitment infrastructure to ensure a safe environment for migrant workers. It uses a three step process of selection, screening, and processing to link the right worker with the right employer, guaranteeing a migration environment free from the abuses that can be associated with international movement of workers. Learn more.

UK Gangmasters Licensing Authority

The UK Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) is a Non Departmental Public Body that regulates employment agencies, labor providers, gangmasters, and other businesses that recruit workers for the agriculture, horticulture, forestry, shellfish gathering, and food and drink processing and packaging sectors. In order to work in these sectors, labor providers must have a GLA license to show that they comply with labor laws, meet tax regulations, and treat workers with respect. Through licensing, the GLA seeks to protect vulnerable workers from exploitation. Learn more.

Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity

The Dhaka Principles are a set of human rights-based principles to enhance respect for the rights of migrant workers from the moment of recruitment, during overseas employment and through to further employment or safe return to home countries. They are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and provide business from all sectors and regions with a roadmap to ensure migration with dignity. The Dhaka Principles were developed by the Institute for Human Rights and Business in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, and in particular the ITUC. Learn more.

 

International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies: Code of Conduct

The International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (Ciett) was established in 1967. It is comprised of 47 national federations of private employment agencies and eight of the world’s largest staffing agencies. In 2006, Ciett adopted a Code of Conduct which defines the common principles and shared commitment of its members towards a well-functioning international labor market. The Code outlines ten principles that promote socially responsible employment while encouraging economic growth, including respect for ethical and professional conduct, free-of-charge service provision to jobseekers, safety at work and workers’ rights. Ciett endorses ILO Convention 181 on Private Employment Agencies and encourages members to assist in its ratification in their home countries. Learn more.

International Tourism Partnership 

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) is a UK-based non-profit organization comprised of leading international hotel companies that recognize the importance of environmental, social and economic stability for long-term business interests. ITP established a working group on human trafficking to develop a corporate policy and strategy for the industry, and in July 2013 published a Know How Guide on Addressing Human Trafficking on its Green Hotelier website. The guide is designed to help hoteliers understand the issue and the steps they can take to reduce risks in their business operations. ITP also developed an important set of Guidelines for Checking Recruitment Agencies, which encourage members to conduct due diligence when engaging private employment agencies to recruit workers. These guidelines were developed with support from Verité, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. They include a “Good Recruitment Charter” for employers and agencies to ensure compliance with best practice. Learn more

The GMS Triangle Project

The GMS Triangle Project, the Tripartite Action to Protect and Promote the rights of Migrants Workers in the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labor Exploitation, is a joint project between Australian AID and the ILO. The goal of the project is to ensure safer migration by strengthening recruitment and labor protection policies and practices. This is done through partnerships with governments, and worker and employer organizations focused on improving policy and legislation, building stakeholder capacity, and providing services to migrant workers. The project is currently operational in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. During the first three years of the project, 10,692 migrants in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam and 4,324 migrants in Malaysia and Thailand received information about safe migration and migrants’ rights through counseling sessions or trainings; 3,517 migrants in Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand received legal assistance; and 2,644 migrants in Malaysia and Thailand joined migrant associations or trade unions. Learn more.

ILO - Promoting Decent Work Across Borders: A Project for Migrant Health Professionals and Skilled Workers

This ILO project, funded largely by the European Union, focuses on better understanding the migration patterns of health professionals. The goals of the project are to engage governments, trades unions, and employers organizations in policy discussions; stem the brain drain of trained health professionals leaving developing countries for employment in developed countries; create networks of experts and trained practitioners; design and facilitate online registration, skills testing, certification systems, counseling, placement services, and re-employment services for healthcare professionals and skilled workers; and to improve labor market information systems on demand and supply of health care professionals. Learn more.

Work in Freedom

A new joint ILO-UK Department for International Development (DFID) project is focused on preventing the trafficking of women and girls from the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India and Nepal to destination countries in the Middle East such as Jordan and Lebanon. The project’s approach is to promote education, fair recruitment, safe migration and decent work for women and girls. At least 100,000 women and girls will be direct beneficiaries of the program. Learn more.

International Labor Recruitment Working Group

The International Labor Recruitment Working Group (ILRWG) was formed in October 2011 as the first coordinated effort to strategically address abuses in international labor recruitment into the US. It is comprised of organizations working in various industries with workers carrying a wide variety of visa types. The Working Group fights for increased enforcement of existing laws, improved transparency in the labor recruitment process and comprehensive policy reform. Learn more.

Staff Wanted Initiative

The Staff Wanted Initiative seeks to raise awareness within the UK hospitality industry of the steps needed to combat the exploitation of vulnerable workers, trafficking and forced labor. It is led by the Institute for Human Rights and Business and Anti-Slavery International (ASI). The Initiative works with business partners and other stakeholders to improve recruitment and employment conditions, identify practices that enable exploitation, and advocate for improved practices and risk mitigation. To this end, it has developed the SEE Formula, a set of practical guidelines asking companies to Scrutinize, Engage and Ensure in order to effectively address the challenges facing the sector. Learn more.

Stronger Together

Stronger Together is a UK-based multi-stakeholder initiative developed by the Association of Labor Providers and Gangmasters Licensing Authority to reduce human trafficking, forced labor, and other forms of worker exploitation. The Initiative provides guidance, resources and a network for employers, labor providers, workers and their representatives, and hosts workshops across the UK to raise awareness about how to tackle hidden third-party labor exploitation. Learn more.

The International Recruitment Integrity System

The International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) is a voluntary ethical recruitment framework established by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IRIS will create a Public-Private Alliance for Fair and Ethical Recruitment to provide a platform to address unfair recruitment and bridge international regulatory gaps in labor recruitment in countries of origin and destination.  IRIS will develop a voluntary accreditation framework, which will recognize members as fair recruiters to distinguish themselves from unscrupulous intermediaries. Under this framework, job seekers will have access to information on ethical recruiters through an online portal and publicly available roster of the accredited members. Learn more

UNI Global/Ciett Memorandum of Understanding

This Memorandum of Understanding between UNI Global Union and Ciett Corporate Members was created in order to improve working conditions for temporary agency workers through global dialogue. Among other actions, the signatories agree to work with national governments to provide social protection and subsistence payments for temporary agency workers, work with the ILO to promote ratification of ILO Convention 181, and encourage the establishment of a global sectoral dialogue forum on temporary agency work. Learn more.

UN Women: Covenant of Ethical Conduct and Good Practices of Overseas Employment Service Providers

In the Covenant of Ethical Conduct and Good Practices, recruitment agencies from nine Asian countries agreed to far-reaching business standards geared towards protecting women migrant workers. By signing the Covenant, agencies commit themselves to information campaigns for migrant workers and employers, social security and insurance programs and the establishment of resource and welfare centers in labor-receiving countries. UN Women played a vital role in the development of the Covenant.
Learn more.

Executive Order: Strengthening Protections against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts

On September 25th, 2012, US President Obama issued an Executive Order that requires Government contractors to abide by a strengthened zero-tolerance policy on trafficking in persons. The policy includes prohibiting misleading recruitment practices, recruitment fees, retention of identification documents and failure to return transportation costs. The Executive Order also requires contractors to have a compliance plan, awareness program for employees, disciplinary measures for violations, a grievance system so employees can report violations, and procedures to prevent trafficking in persons at every stage of the supply chain. Learn more.

VAMAS Code of Conduct

The Vietnam Association of Manpower Supply (VAMAS) collaborated with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Vietnam (MOLISA) to develop a code of conduct for agencies sending Vietnamese workers overseas. The Code establishes fundamental principles and rights based on national legislation, ILO Conventions and Recommendations and other relevant international instruments, including twelve articles on topics such as legal compliance, recruitment, contracts, return and reintegration, and dispute settlement. In 2011, VAMAS launched a monitoring mechanism to measure the application of the code. Learn more.

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR): No Fees Initiative

The ICCR’s No Fees Initiative is a program “designed to ultimately lead companies to create robust management systems which will ensure that workers in their immediate and extended supply chains are not forced to pay for employment.” The ICCR is currently engaging with 12 companies that either source palm oil and seafood directly, such as food producers, or indirectly, such as food retailers. The companies are asked to include issues of ethical recruitment in their company policy. The policy should have clear procedures to ensure that suppliers are recruiting responsibly. The companies are asked to implement a supply chain traceability program to trace commodities and to participate in multi-stakeholder initiatives.  The initiative will expand beyond these initial 12 companies to incorporate over 50 companies in electronics, apparel, and extractives that are already working with ICCR members on human rights issues. Learn More.  

Wilmar: No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy

In December 2013, Wilmar announced a No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation Policy to address environmental and human rights issues associated with palm oil production. The “No Exploitation of People and Local Communities” pledge includes: respect for all workers whether they be contracted, temporary and/or migrant workers; inclusion of smallholders; respect for land tenure rights and the rights of indigenous and local communities; and resolution of any complaints that arise. The pledge includes a commitment to ethical recruitment, including a no fees or costs for job-seekers policy and prohibition of unlawful document retention. The policy applies to all Wilmar operations, including subsidiaries and third-party suppliers. Learn More

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO): Human Trafficking: Oversight of Contractors’ Use of Foreign Workers in High-Risk Environments Needs to Be Strengthened

In November 2014, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report called Human Trafficking: Oversight of Contractors’ Use of Foreign Workers in High-Risk Environments Needs to Be Strengthened. The report focused on recruitment fee policies and guidance in government contracts and agency monitoring of contractor efforts to combat trafficking in persons (TIP). The GAO used a sample of 11 contracts awarded by the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of State (State), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The report concluded that current policies and guidance on the payment of recruitment fees for U.S. government agencies and contractors hiring foreign workers were unclear. In their study, the GAO found that foreign workers often paid for their job placements: on the contract in the GAO sample that reported employing the largest number of foreign workers, GAO found that over 1,900 foreign workers had paid fees. The report also concluded that agency monitoring did not always include monitoring contractor efforts to combat TIP. For seven out of the 11 contracts reviewed, efforts to combat TIP were monitored by the DOD and State. Some officials expressed that they were unaware of the relevant policies. In response to these findings, the GAO recommends that a more precise definition be developed and adopted by government agencies and that agencies ensure that TIP monitoring is being done. The DOD concurred with both recommendations. State and USAID announced that upcoming regulations would prohibit recruitment fees altogether, in response to the first recommendation, and the agencies concurred with the second recommendation.  Learn more

 

DID YOU KNOW?

No migrant-receiving state in Western Europe has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families.