IOM, Ministry of Labour Jointly Host a Regional Conference on Promoting Fair and Ethical Recruitment Across Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand
Bangkok – On 16 June, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Labour of the Royal Thai Government co-organized a virtual Regional Conference for Recruitment Agencies on Promoting Fair and Ethical Recruitment in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand (CLMT).
The event, joined by 60 representatives from labour ministries and recruitment agencies and associations across Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Thailand, reconfirmed that all stakeholders play a vital role in applying and upholding fair and ethical recruitment principles in policy and practice.
"This regional conference is a platform for recruitment agencies and their government counterparts to discuss the current recruitment eco-system in their respective countries," said Ms. Pataraporn Samantarath, Assistant Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour of Thailand. "Also, to discuss approaches to further institutionalize ethical recruitment standards into policy and practice across these countries, especially in the context of post-COVID-19 recovery and with a focus on strengthening the regulation, accountability and monitoring of ethical recruitment standards," she added.
The recruiters who participated in the conference called for regional collaboration in relation to the ethical recruitment principles. They also stressed the need for having a clear definition of recruitment fees and relevant costs and the party responsible for the payment of each cost item; providing recruitment agencies with technical support to adopt the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) principles; and having a shared database across countries of origin and destination to enhance the management of labour migration.
Thailand is host to the largest number of migrant workers of all ASEAN member states, with approximately 2.8 million documented, lower-wage migrant workers from Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Myanmar. Despite their vital economic and social contribution, migrant workers face significant challenges such as unethical recruitment practices, including excessive recruitment fees, leading to debt bondage.
"Governments bear the responsibility to protect the rights of all persons within their jurisdiction, including migrant workers, and to ensure that recruitment takes place in a way that respects, protects and fulfills internationally recognized human rights," said Geraldine Ansart, Chief of Mission of IOM Thailand. In addition to protecting migrant workers, Ms. Ansart stressed that governments should seek to regulate employment and recruitment in a manner that is clear, transparent and effectively enforced.
Ms. Ansart also highlighted the vital role of private recruitment agencies in implementing these policies and ensuring they translate into fair and ethical recruitment and decent employment of migrant workers.
IOM will consolidate all inputs from the conference and share them with the Ministry of Labour of the Royal Thai Government to inform their evidence-based policy development efforts in the near future. This event is part of IOM's CREST programme funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, CREST Fashion project funded by the Laudes Foundation, and PROMISE programme funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
For more information, please contact us at ThailandLHD@iom.int
Note to Editor:
IOM's Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency is a regional partnership initiative that aims to realize the potential of business to uphold the human and labour rights of migrant workers in their operations and supply chains.
IOM's Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking in the Fashion Industry (CREST Fashion) funded by the Laudes Foundation partners with multi-national enterprises and local companies operating in South Asia and Southeast Asia's apparel and home textile supply chains to promote responsible business conduct in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
IOM's Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Thailand (PROMISE) funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to improve employment opportunities and conditions for women and men migrants in Thailand from Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic and Myanmar through enhanced skills and protection, leading to poverty reduction.