Migrant workers can be vulnerable to abuse and exploitation during migration and employment due to factors including unethical recruitment, migration status, fear of deportation, or the inability to find alternative employment, particularly during the current COVID-19 crisis.
Today (8 June) the International Organization for Migration is publishing new, pioneering guidance for Member States on the regulation of international recruitment and protection of migrant workers.
The Montreal Recommendations on Recruitment: A Roadmap towards Better Regulation provides clear guidance to policymakers on how to protect migrant workers during recruitment, migration, and employment.
It is designed to help develop comprehensive, multi-faceted approaches to promote ethical recruitment, enhance transparency and accountability, and improve the migration and employment outcomes for all stakeholders.
“IOM is proud to publish this guidance, at a time when migrant workers around the world face increased vulnerability and risk,” said IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson.
“Many industries in the global economy are heavily dependent on migrant workers. Without them, health care services, agri-food production, manufacturing, and retail services would grind to a halt, threatening an already fragile global economy.
Yet very often, gaps in migration governance and, in particular, the regulation of recruitment, leave migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation. This guidance is intended to help policy makers fulfill their critical role in addressing these gaps.”
The Montreal Recommendations are the result of a global conference held last year in Quebec, Canada, bringing together senior policy makers, leading experts and practitioners from more than 30 countries around the world, and representatives from Ministries of Labour, Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
They were tasked to co-create guidance to better regulate international recruitment, improve oversight of recruitment industries and enhance protections for migrant workers.
The resulting 55 recommendations set out a clear roadmap towards better regulation and migrant worker protection and they are complemented by recent guidance published by IOM to support employers and labour recruiters in their efforts to enhance protections for migrant workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division helps governments and partners to harness development outcomes of migration by focusing on the protection of migrant workers and seeking to enhance the benefits of labour migration for all parties involved.
The division operates IRIS: Ethical Recruitment — a global multi-stakeholder initiative designed to promote ethical recruitment with the support of governments, civil society, the labour movement, private sector and ethical recruiters.