(12 September 2016) The ILO took a big step forward to protect the rights of migrant workers with the adoption of guidance for fair recruitment, 7 September 2016. The guidelines were adopted in the Tripartite Technical Meeting of Experts to Develop Guidance on Fair Recruitment. This brings together employers, unions and governments. These General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Recruitment are now submitted for approval by the ILO Governing Body in November.
The expectation is that the Principles and Guidelines can “help dramatically change the current situation and reduce exploitation, forced labour and vulnerability of millions of workers across the world, including migrant workers, to traffickers and unscrupulous labour recruiters and employers.” PSI has been actively involved in developing them. They are very relevant for workers in health and social services amongst others. Demographic change and workforce shortages will lead to increased international recruitment in the coming years.
“The Principles and Guidelines promote human and trade union rights for all workers, including access to information, right to join trade unions, collective bargaining and decent working and living conditions. They provide for the protection of whistle-blowers in reporting cases of abuses in recruitment practices, as well as access to grievance, redress and compensation for workers’ whose rights were violated. Governments must ensure that such mechanisms for redress are accessible across borders, even after the worker has returned to his/her own country. “ The principles should further guide public procurement.
Bilateral labour agreements (BLA) and multilateral labour agreements (MLA) are promoted. Unions, employers and governments should be involved in the implementation and monitoring. PSI supports strong government regulation of recruitment agencies, transparency, access of workers to information and active involvement of trade unions in the development, implementation and monitoring of such bilateral labour agreements.