Key markers for promoting responsible recruitment of migrant workers

Even with many years of effort by worker advocates, governments, industry, and multilateral organizations, migrant workers in the apparel and footwear sectors continue to face forced labor risks due to the ongoing practice of charging workers for employment offers. By passing the cost of doing business onto the migrant workers, they are often left with crushing debt that makes them even more vulnerable to exploitation. While many guidance documents exist to help companies establish policies meant to solve this issue, policy implementation with their suppliers is difficult. The worker recruitment process can be opaque and extremely complex, and companies may be unaware of the high-risk activities that labor brokers or other recruitment actors take, and thus are not able to effectively address them.

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has joined with Andy Hall, an international migrant worker rights specialist with deep knowledge of responsible recruitment programs across Asia, to develop guidance for the industry, highlighting industry responsible recruitment challenges, and provide guidance for overcoming these challenges. We hope this document is a helpful resource for companies/buyers and other stakeholders as they work to eradicate recruitment fees for workers and promote decent work in global supply chains.