Migrant Workers

Recruitment Fees

04 May 2016

Migrant workers are a ubiquitous feature of the global economy – the International Labour Organization estimates there are 150 million migrants in the global workforce. 

These workers – and in particular low-skilled migrants – are often among the most vulnerable to exploitation and frequently less able to understand, defend or promote their rights. In the labour market migrant workers can suffer job discrimination, unfair treatment, unequal wages, harsh working conditions and other affronts to their basic dignity. 

The situations low-skilled migrant workers face are often made worse by excessive debt. This debt is incurred through high recruitment fees they must pay to secure the work. 

This IHRB Briefing provides an overview of the human rights risks posed to migrant workers due to the practice of charging them fees as part of the recruitment process. It includes information on:

  • what are recruitment fees 
  • the impact of recruitment fees 
  • the business case for ethical recruitment 
  • what businesses should do 
  • key resources 
  • and more

Latest IHRB Publications

International Arbitration of Business and Human Rights Disputes - Answers to Key Questions

International arbitration uses private arbitrators to resolve disputes of many kinds that arise between parties from different countries. The parties must consent to its use and they participate in the selection of the arbitrators.  Could it be used...

01 September 2017

Commentary by Robert C. Thompson

Women’s Health in Global Supply Chains - Re-Envisioning the Business Role

The Family Planning Summit in London this week is re-invigorating efforts to ensure that women and girls around the world are able to plan their families and their futures. A main focus is on strengthening public health services and on building...

Responsible Recruitment - Turning Principles into Practice

Today an estimated 21 million individuals still face conditions of what the United Nations refers to as ‘modern’ forms of slavery. Of that number, 14 million individuals are victims of labour exploitation specifically.

Such violations of...