E.g., 02/27/2024
E.g., 02/27/2024
Consolidating Gains: Lessons and Priorities for Promoting Fair and Ethical Recruitment

Moving to another country for work is far from a new phenomenon, but questions of how and under what conditions workers are recruited across international borders have attracted increased scrutiny in the last decade and a half. This attention has been spurred by the rising number of people on the move in search of employment and growing awareness of the risks involved, including the potential for exploitation, human trafficking, and forced labor.

Considerable progress has been made in developing a consensus about what fair and ethical recruitment could and should look like. This has involved, among other things, defining recruitment fees and other related costs; pushing for the principle that employers, not workers, should bear the costs of recruitment; establishing guidance for different industries and stakeholders; and developing recommendations on how governments can better regulate recruitment. The next, formidable challenge will be building on this significant progress and more fully implementing recruitment standards so that more migrant workers benefit from them.

This policy brief explores progress toward fair and ethical recruitment to date and priorities for future work by governments, employers, and recruiters. The brief results from a multiyear research partnership between MPI and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s Thematic Section Migration and Forced Displacement to support the development of global solutions for migration-related challenges.

Table of Contents 

1  Introduction

2  What Makes Recruitment Fair and Ethical?

3  Lessons Learned to Date
A. Creating Clear Legal Frameworks for International Recruitment
B. Promoting Ethical Practices among Recruiters
C. Encouraging Employers to Recruit Responsibly

4  Conclusion: Pursuing Fair and Ethical Recruitment in a Changing World of Work