In today's globalized economy, workers are increasingly looking for job opportunities beyond their home country in search of decent work and better livelihoods. In addition, millions of workers migrate internally in search of employment. Public employment services and private employment agencies, when appropriately regulated, play an important role in the efficient and equitable functioning of labour markets by matching available jobs with suitably qualified workers. While some cross-border recruitment is facilitated by public employment services (within the framework of bilateral agreements that incorporate arrangements for temporary worker programmes), and social and informal networks, private employment agencies and other labour recruiters play an important role in matching labour supply and demand across borders. However, concerns have been raised about the growing role of unscrupulous employment agencies, informal labour intermediaries and other operators acting outside the legal and regulatory framework that prey especially on low-skilled workers and those desperately searching for work. Despite the existence of international labour standards relating to recruitment, national laws and their enforcement often fall short of protecting the rights of workers. For migrant workers, these may be coupled with threats if workers wish to leave their employers, and fears of subsequent expulsion from a country. Reported abuses involve one or more of the following: deception about the nature and conditions of work; retention of passports; illegal wage deductions; debt bondage linked to the repayment of recruitment fees and related costs; and threats if workers want to leave their employers, coupled with fears of subsequent expulsion from a country. A combination of these abuses can eventually result in human trafficking and forced labour which in turn are often linked to other serious infringements of fundamental rights in the workplace. Workers are vulnerable to abusive recruitment practices especially when they are seeking jobs in an environment of high unemployment, when fleeing crisis situations like wars or disasters, or when there is intense competition for jobs and they are not protected by transparent laws and effective enforcement. These problems are even more severe when governments have not laid down clear requirements in law and regulations for fair recruitment, adopted bilateral or multilateral agreements to prevent abuses in major recruitment corridors, or when they lack the capacity to enforce the law. A lack of appropriate government regulation and oversight often creates commercial uncertainties, and adds to the costs of doing business.
This new e-learning course is designed specifically for professional and practitioners dealing with migration, trafficking and/or forced labour and representatives of the recruitment industry as well as businesses;
The recruitment intermediation landscape today is complex. The global governance system of labour migration is fragmented and a large number of actors are involved in the recruitment process: from private employment agencies, to multiple levels of subagents to whom work is passed by the principal agencies, to informal and/or unregulated labour recruiters. The revenues generated by the industry originate from the fees charged for temporary staffing, search and placement and corporate training services.
Finally, the new reality that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for countries and societies is having an enormous impact on workers’ mobility across borders, particularly due to the imposition of strict limitations on international travel. It poses significant challenges to workers and their families, as well as for recruitment processes and the future of the recruitment industry.
TheThe “Fair Recruitment Initiative”, a global initiative launched by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2014, and the General principles and operational guidelines for fair recruitment adopted in 2016, offer responses to these challenges which are multifaceted. The latter has been expanded in 2018 to include a comprehensive definition of recruitment fees and related costs. The objective of these principles and guidelines is to inform the current and future work of the ILO and of other organizations, national legislatures, and social partners on promoting and ensuring fair recruitment. They are derived from a number of sources, including international labour standards and ILO instruments among others.
The aim of this course is to reinforce the capacities of the ILO constituents and other key actors to promote fair recruitment and by doing so ensuring that recruitment services respect workers’ fundamental principles and rights, including those of migrant workers.
Analyse the key challenges in national and international recruitment of workers arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and the appropriate policies and measures to be taken
The online training will be built around the ILO/ITCILO training module on Fair Recruitment Processes developed in the framework of the ILO REFRAME project.
The course consists of a number of online modules offered through the ITCILO eCampus online platform to be completed over a period of six weeks from 07 September 09 October, for an estimated total of 60 learning hours. Participants will have until 16 October to submit an individual assignment.
The course is broken down into different phases: