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Cross-border recruitment of workers is a vital part of facilitating international labour mobility

When it is done in a fair and transparent way, recruitment contributes to safe, orderly labour migration which benefits countries of origin and destination, employers, and migrants.

However, when it is conducted in a manner inconsistent with international standards, unethical recruitment can lead to fraudulent behaviour, exploitation, and, in the worst cases, conditions of forced labour.

In many migration corridors, the vulnerability of migrant workers is exacerbated by weaknesses in regulation and enforcement.

Cross-border recruitment
Purpose & Approach

The GPN adopts a “whole of government” approach

The Network includes representatives of national & sub-national authorities from relevant ministries, departments, and public agencies. To enhance the sustainability and impact of the Network, it adopts a multi-pillar approach to promote awareness and communications, capacity building, strategic advocacy, and data and research.

  • The Network:
  • Provides clear, practical guidance to promote policy coherence and good practice in recruitment regulation and migrant worker protection.
  • Encourages operational and regulatory cooperation across participating jurisdictions.
  • Establishes a mechanism through which guidance and strategies can be tested and scaled, and actions taken.
Slide 1

Enhancing commitment through awareness and communications

Levels of awareness and understanding about ethical recruitment vary across governments and regions. In some jurisdictions, expertise is deep and socialized across different agencies and authorities, while in other jurisdictions awareness is nascent, but political commitment is strong.

To meet these different circumstances, the GPN implements a global awareness and communications campaign through the IRIS: Ethical Recruitment initiative, which serves to elevate understanding where needed, promote parity and consistency of understanding, and establish the intellectual and ethical foundations for public commitment and action.

Slide 2

Strengthening Capacity for effective regulation

Building on enhanced levels of awareness and commitment, the GPN will strengthen government capacity to develop better policies, action plans, programmes and services for ethical recruitment and migrant protection.

Increased capacity will serve as the bridge between commitment and action and, in practical terms, will be enhanced through global resources, guidance material, online learning and modular training, which is tailored to meet the needs of regulators and practitioners. You can find more information about this on the capacity building page.

Slide 3

Strategic Advocacy and Engagement

With greater awareness and capacity, the GPN leads a targeted campaign of advocacy and engagement, which serves to translate new commitments into actions and leads to the adoption and implementation of new policies, action plans and programmes.

Strategic advocacy stimulates coherence, synergies and cooperation both horizontally and vertically across participating governments. A preliminary goal of such engagement is the adoption or revision of National Action Plans to promote ethical recruitment based on the Montreal Recommendations.

Slide 4

Strategic research and data collection

The global community faces significant gaps in data and knowledge related to international recruitment practices and trends. To address this, the GPN supports robust research to inform policy dialogue, decision-making, public commitments, policies, and action plans.

This includes migration corridor-level reports, comparative research, and the creation of a global database to collect and maintain up-to-date data on recruitment fees, costs, practices, and trends.

Activities & Projects

The goal of IRIS is to make international recruitment fair for everyone involved

The Global Policy Network is a programme of IRIS: Ethical Recruitment, IOM’s flagship initiative to promote ethical recruitment of migrant workers. It’s a global, multistakeholder initiative that supports governments, civil society, employers, and recruitment agencies to establish ethical recruitment as the norm in cross-border labour migration.

You can learn more about the initiative on the IRIS website.