Construction Workers in Silhouette

The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Regional Office for Arab States in collaboration with the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, launched a white paper in September, authored by Dr. Ray Jureidini: Ways forward in recruitment of low-skilled migrant workers in Asia-Arab states corridor (also available in Arabic).

The paper offers a comprehensive assessment of the cross border labor recruitment system in the Asia and Arab States corridor. It reveals how recruitment agencies and labor contractors structure agreements with their client employers so that the extensive costs of recruitment are borne by low-skilled workers in contrast to the recruitment fees and expenses of high-skilled workers, which are paid for by the employer. The report also catalogs the fraudulent and illegal practices that render low-skilled workers vulnerable to debt bonded labor and other egregious abuses that are contrary to international standards, the laws and regulations of source and destination countries, and human dignity.
 
Verité, whose research and work in the Asia-Arab corridor is referenced in the white paper, continues to work with companies, institutions, and other stakeholders in the corridor to help them understand how properly allocating the costs of moving workers across borders can end the inequitable distribution of those costs that is at the root of forced labor in supply chains.
 
Ensuring foreign subsidiaries, joint ventures, franchisees, suppliers, and contractors pay the legitimate and reasonable fees and expenses related to cross border labor migration and hold their recruitment agents and labor suppliers accountable for complying with international standards and applicable laws – including ensuring workers are not charged for their jobs – are the most important steps employers can take to mitigate risk and effectively uncover and address the ongoing presence of trafficked workers, forced labor, and modern slavery in their supply chains.
 
For more information contact Declan Croucher.