Ethical recruitment means hiring workers lawfully and in a fair and transparent manner that respects and protects their rights. Where ethical recruitment principles are followed, it benefits workers, employers and businesses alike to achieve the full benefits of labour migration.
Unethical recruitment practices can lead to severe human rights abuses encountered by migrant workers throughout their migration journey. Unclear or deceptive employment terms and conditions, recruitment fees and costs charged to jobseekers, withholding of documents and wages and lack of language or cultural understanding in the country of destination all emanate from unethical recruitment practices. In extreme situations this can result in involuntariness and coercion, potentially leading to debt bondage and forced labour.
Recognizing these widespread challenges, several multi-stakeholder initiatives have emerged around the globe to promote ethical recruitment – including the Employer Pays Principle and critical progress has been made to better protect and respect migrant workers’ human rights. But challenges remain, and collective efforts need to be coordinated and scaled across sectors and migration corridors to create long-lasting change of policies and practices.