People move for various reasons, but most of them migrate to find work and to improve their living conditions. Workers who want to work abroad typically pay recruitment fees and other related costs to recruiters. With increasing labor mobility, international recruitment has become a lucrative business for many recruiters, particularly private for-profit recruitment agencies. Out of desperation to find work abroad and to escape poverty and unemployment migrant workers often take on substantial debt to pay exorbitant recruitment fees. Often, workers are forced to take out loans, mortgage their homes or sell their property just to pay off the recruitment fees. [Find out more]
There is a misconception that migrants’ rights abuses only happen to low-paid occupations such as domestic work. However, recruitment abuses including charging of excessive recruitment fees, also happen to nurses, teachers and other professions. Women and young workers are especially vulnerable.
“Charging recruitment fees on migrant workers is unjust. No worker should pay in order to obtain work. Recruiters are earning double by charging employers for placement fees, then charging workers as well. Workers end up in a cycle of debt and bonded labour trying to pay these exorbitant recruitment fees. It is time to end this practice,” says Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of Public Services International.