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Article

ILO comparative study commissioned on defining recruitment fees and related costs

Global Study on Recruitment Fees and Related Costs, 27 Nov 2020

At the time of publication of this Global Study, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an enormous impact on workers’ mobility across borders, particularly due to the imposition of strict limitations on international travel…

While recruitment practices are adapting quickly to respect COVID-19 prevention measures, a grave concern is that the contraction of the global labour market will increase pressure on migrant workers to pay high recruitment fees and related costs as they are forced to “compete” for scare jobs abroad, particularly the low-wage jobs most often accessible to migrant workers. In this rapidly changing context during the crisis, the implementation of agreed international labour standards, in particular the ILO Employment Service Convention, 1948 (No. 88) and ILO Private Employment Agencies Convention, 1997 (No. 181), in addition to General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment is essential…

The analyses of laws and policies on recruitment fees and related costs presented in this Global Study can serve as a useful guidance and reference point while governments and social partners plan and implement the immediate and long-term response to COVID-19, including the prevention of abusive and fraudulent recruitment practices…

This global comparative study (Global Study) was concluded in order to advance the ILO’s work on promoting Fair Recruitment, in particular to reduce recruitment fees and related costs paid by workers. The ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment provide a definition of “recruitment fees or related costs”, as “any fees or costs incurred in the recruitment process in order for workers to secure employment or placement, regardless of the manner, timing or location of their imposition or collection”. Principle 7 expressly prohibits the charging of these fees and related costs to workers…

The Global Study was based on five regional reports, aimed to identify and analyze the national and international responses to addressing issues of high recruitment fees and related costs through a comparison of relevant national laws and policies in different regions...