Licensing and registration act as a shorthand for States to grant legal status to and formalize businesses. Companies that operate without required documentation are considered to be operating illegally. Effective licensing and registration schemes enhance enforcement as regulators and users can distinguish legal from illegal actors. However, existing schemes vary enormously, including the standards to which recruiters must comply and the extent and frequency of inspections.
Global principles and guidance on how recruitment should be practiced are now firmly established in the ILO General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment and the IRIS Standard. These can be transposed into national policy and regulation through licensing or registration schemes. For additional considerations and guidance on this topic, see Section 3 of the Montreal Recommendations.
Members of the GPN have also established a Thematic Working Group on the topic of licensing and oversight of labour recruiters.