IOM and ILO hold workshop on fair and ethical hiring of migrant workers

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Other, Panama
3 September, 2019


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) are leading the regional workshop “Governance of Labor Migration: Fair Hiring and Prevention of Fraudulent Practices”. The event, which was inaugurated today in Guatemala City and will end on Thursday, September 5, takes place within the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM).

The activity brings together government institutions and entities responsible for nationwide statistics and censuses, as well as experts from IOM and ILO, employers', workers' and civil society organizations. These actively participate in technical sessions and keynote talks on various topics, in order to support countries in the use of various instruments for the prevention of fraudulent practices, the protection of workers and the process of equitable and ethical recruitment and hiring of migrants, such as the Global Initiative for Equitable Recruitment of the ILO and the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), promoted by IOM.

Among other topics, the workshop includes a special session on hiring commissions and related costs, and on the methodology of data collection for the measurement of hiring costs, in order to contribute to evidence-based decision making.

This initiative is part of the activities of the strategic alliance between IOM and the ILO, which seeks to contribute to the governance of labor migration in the member countries of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM). Both organizations have joined efforts to support RCM member countries in strengthening their governance schemes for labor migration, as well as in promoting equitable hiring policies and practices.

Jorge Peraza, IOM Head of Mission in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras stressed at the opening of the workshop that, “for migration to be beneficial for migrants, States and their communities of origin, it is essential that certain conditions exist. This implies addressing challenges related to recruitment and hiring processes, the regularization of migrant workers, raising awareness among the local population to reduce the prejudices and stigmas associated with migration in host communities and improving access to information for employers and migrants, among others.”

On the other hand, María Gallotti, principal technical advisor of the project “REFRAME - Global action to improve the recruitment framework of labor migration”, financed by the European Union and implemented by the ILO, emphasized that this workshop seeks to contribute to strengthening the capacities of the RCM member countries so that they can guarantee labor migration processes through regular, orderly and safe ways, reduce the cost of labor migration and improve the benefits for migrant workers and their families in the countries of origin and of destiny; as well as the importance of promoting intra-regional social dialogue on labor migration using the ILO’s General Principles and Guidelines for Fair Hiring as a tool.

With an extensive agenda of activities distributed over three working days, the workshop seeks to motivate participants to exchange information and knowledge about barriers and the main challenges for effective governance of labor migration, share good practices and lessons learned about initiatives that promote effective governance of labor migration and the protection of the labor rights of migrant workers; as well as transmitting the use of instruments for the promotion of ethical practices of recruitment and hiring of migrants.

As of 2018, 3.4% of the world's population are migrants, that is, 258 million people, and they contribute a 9% of the world's GDP, which represents approximately 7 trillion dollars a year. A significant and growing part of these people emigrate in search of job opportunities.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), in 2017 there were 164 million migrant workers worldwide, an increase of 9% since 2013. This represents 59.2% of all international migrants and 70.1% of all migrants of working age. Migrant workers represent 4.7% of all workers in the world.

The activity has the financial contribution of the European Union, through the project "REFRAME - Global action to improve the recruitment framework of labor migration", and the Department of State of the United States, within the framework of the Mesoamerican Program of the IOM.