RCM countries exchange good practices on recruitment and labor protection of migrants

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
25 May, 2021


The second part of the technical exchange of practices on fair recruitment and labor protection of migrant workers was held the 24 May 2021, as part of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM). The session was led by the International Labour Organization, jointly moderated with the International Organization of Migration, and gathered the participation of 61 participants from 11 RCM Member Countries’ representatives, private sector and civil society organizations, as well as observer agencies.  


The exchange mainly focused on fair recruitment practices undertaken by a diversity of actors across the world. In this sense, the first part of the exchange addressed private employment agencies and their contribution to labour markets with interventions by Guido Ricci, on behalf of the International Organization of Employers; Zulum Ávila, Employment Services Specialist from ILO; and Michela Macchiavello, Regional Thematic Specialist on Labour Migration and Human Development for IOM in Central America, North America and the Caribbean. 


The second part of the exchange was divided in two separate simultaneous panel discussions which put the spotlight on regulation, monitoring models and the protection of workers with the experiences of four countries respectively. 


During the first panel, Juan Guilarte, ILO´s Labour Migration Specialist, presented Italy´s action plan to prevent labour exploitation, illegal recruitment and forced labour in the agricultural sector. Francis Ron de Guzman from the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) shared the experience of protecting Philippine workers abroad through controls in countries of destination to verify the conditions of labour and the veracity of the employer.  


Douglas Opio, from World Employment’s Confederation, shared the experience protecting Ugandan workers abroad, with a licensing system for recruitment agencies and pre-deployment orientation processes with workers. Finally, Saad Muchammad, from the Pakistani Workers Federation’s concentrated on the importance of migrant workers’ organizations to strengthen the prevention of risks and abuses throughout the labour migration journey. 


The second panel showcased the case of India, that protects Indian migrant workers abroad by blacklisting employers and recruiters that have violated migrant workers’ rights.  The case of the pilot governmental initiative for Bangladeshi workers in the construction sector in Qatar proved the importance of public-private alliances to ensure safe labour mobility.  


The Migrant Recruitment Adviser of the International Trade Union Confederation shared a broad spectrum of proposals for action such as the use of technology to promote ethical recruitment and generate communication mechanisms among equals to denounce, monitor and access to justice. Finally, Responsible Business Alliance highlighted the Code of Conduct in international supply chains, which enables the transparency of recruitment processes in many companies, also achieved through the monitoring by auditing mechanisms and corrective measures.  


This second part of the exchange gives closure to the first activity of the Labour Migration Working Group of the RCM, of which Mexico holds the Pro-Tempore Chair, and will be followed up by a consultancy conducted jointly by IOM and ILO, to assess the needs and priorities of RCM Member Countries in terms of migration governance.  


The expected result of this assessment is the establishment of national roadmaps which will improve the capacities of RCM Member Countries in the design, negotiation, implementation and monitoring of labour migration mechanisms to ensure that migration is done in an orderly, regulated and secure manner.  


Within IOM, these activities are conducted by the Western Hemisphere Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.