Despite the growing awareness of, and commitments to, ethical recruitment, an analysis of CUMULUS data from early 2019 to the present reveals that less than five percent of employers fully absorb the true cost of cross border recruitment, including all recruitment fees and related costs. Instead, those costs continue to be passed on to foreign migrant workers.
Verité has identified a number of factors that increase workers’ vulnerability to becoming victims of human trafficking, all of which will likely worsen during and after the COVID-19 crisis, including poverty, inequality, political instability, conflict, crime/violence, and tightening of restrictions on immigration.
A growing number of multinational corporations and their suppliers have begun to adopt “Employer Pays” recruitment policies. The purpose of this white paper from Verité is to identify, map, and assess the impact and potential application of contract clauses, ethical recruitment bonds, and insurance policies for promoting sustained compliance with key migrant worker standards, while mitigating financial risk to employers.
Migrant workers are frequently confronted with a choice: pay illegal or unethical recruitment fees for employment abroad or go without work altogether. To finance these exorbitant costs, they may take out loans that leave them vulnerable to debt bondage, a form of forced labor. For more than a decade, Verité has worked with global companies in diverse sectors to ensure their suppliers and business partners absorb the true cost of recruitment and prohibit the charging of recruitment costs to workers, in accordance with international standards and regulations.
You see the headlines about the US-Mexico border on a daily basis: Asylum seekers, guest workers, and other international migrants are seeking safety and a chance to break out of a cycle of poverty by coming to the United States. Yet for all the exposure these stories receive, there is little explanation of who these people are and why they take their risky journeys. This story offers supply chain professionals a clear context and understanding of how promoting compliance with national laws and corporate supply chain standards can directly impact the lives of these vulnerable populations.