Migrants stand next to a fire in an illegal refugee camp inside an abandoned factory, in Velika Kladusa near Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Photo: EPA/Jean-Christophe Bott
Migrants stand next to a fire in an illegal refugee camp inside an abandoned factory, in Velika Kladusa near Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Photo: EPA/Jean-Christophe Bott

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has published new guidelines for the recruitment and protection of migrant workers, stressing that these people are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

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.

For this reason the International Organization for Migration on June 8 published new guidance for member states on the regulation of international recruitment and protection of migrant workers.The UN agency said in a statement that the guide, called "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.

The guide is designed to help develop comprehensive, multi-faceted approaches to promote ethical recruitment, enhance transparency and accountability.

'Many industries rely on migrant workers'

"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."

Thompson said the guidance is intended to help policy makers "fulfill their critical role in addressing these gaps."

55 recommendations by experts and professionals

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 Labor, Foreign Affairs and Immigration.

Participants were asked to create guidance to better regulate international recruitment 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 labor recruiters in their efforts to enhance protections for migrant workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
 

More articles