IOM’s IRIS and ethical recruitment offer transparency to Bangladeshi recruitment practices

Date: Feb 20, 2020
Location(s): Dhaka, Bangladesh

Dhaka – To introduce Bangladeshi private recruitment agencies to ethical recruitment and IRIS certification, IOM Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) organized a two-day training on the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) on 13-14 January, 2020. 19 male and 7 female participants from ten Private Recruitment Agencies (PRAs) attended the training. 

The training explored the labour migration corridor between Bangladesh and Hong Kong SAR, China with the recruiters. The importance of ethical recruitment was discussed, including how unethical recruitment practices increase migrant workers’ vulnerabilities. Following the training, participants understand common recruitment challenges that underpin and fuel exploitation of migrant domestic workers in the migration corridor. 

The private recruitment agencies that participated in the training are now able to convert their business models in line with the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) standards to ensure ethical recruitment practices. A participant in the beginning welcomed IOM’s initiative and said; “we as businessmen want a practical solution to bring transparency in our labour recruitment industry. I hope through this IRIS training we will get a solution.”

Through mapping the recruitment process for recruiters, migrant workers and employers, the participants identified gaps and sought concrete solutions to implement ethical recruitment practices in their business. 

Some challenges highlighted by the PRAs include run-away cases where employers have confiscated migrant workers’ passports, early return prior to contract ending date, and the law in Hong Kong SAR.

The second day of the training focused on management systems, overview of IRIS certification process and also the Hong Kong SAR, China legal framework on domestic migrant workers. Throughout the training, participants were highly engaged in interactive sessions.

Additionally, at the end of the training IRIS Self-Assessment for Ethical Recruitment (IRIS – SAFER) was introduced to participants. IRIS SAFER consists of 40 questions available both in English and Bengali language which would allow the recruitment agencies to assess their current level of adherence to global ethical recruitment principles as set forth by the IRIS Standard. 

Mr. Shameem Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, Secretary General of BAIRA, during his closing remarks appreciated IOM for its ongoing initiatives and reiterated BAIRA’s commitment to run their business in line with IRIS standard. In his speech he said “The labor migration market is changing and those who are able to adopt the changes of Ethical Recruitment will be able to sustain. IOM is working closely with BAIRA and we are supportive of IOM’s IRIS certification system.”

The training was funded by IOM Development Fund (IDF). 

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