IRIS Standard

The IRIS Standard has been developed through extensive consultation with stakeholder and expert communities and is based on international human rights instruments and labour standards such as UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity, as well as, recruitment industry best practices. It is designed to serve as a practical tool and guidance for enabling labour recruiters and employers to integrate ethical recruitment principles into recruitment related management systems, procedures, codes of conduct, and social sustainability initiatives. To achieve this, the Standard defines operational benchmarks for compliance with the IRIS ethical recruitment principles. The IRIS certification scheme currently under development will provide assurance of compliance with the Standard. 

The Standard will be updated peridocally.


IRIS Ethical Recruitment Principles


The following seven principles represent the key areas of ethical recruitment practice.

The labour recruiters must comply with all applicable legislation, regulations, multilateral and bilateral agreements on labour migration, and policies related to the recruitment of migrant workers in the jurisdictions of origin, transit and destination countries, including those pertaining to the immigration or emigration of migrant workers. This principle explicitly prohibits the use of trafficking in persons, forced labour, and child labour, and includes respect for the right of freedom of association and collective bargaining and respect for equality of treatment and non-discrimination, as recognized in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
In order to meet the responsibility to respect laws and comply with the IRIS Principles, the labour recruiters will have in place policies and processes, including due diligence, to ensure that their recruitment activities are consistent with the IRIS Principles and conducted in a manner that treats migrant workers with dignity and respect, free from harassment, or any form of coercion or degrading or inhuman treatment.
The labour recruiters must not charge directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, any fees or related costs to migrant workers, for the services related to recruitment for temporary or permanent job placement or employment.
The labour recruiters must not require migrant workers or their family members to provide a monetary deposit or other collateral as a condition of employment, and must not withhold, destroy or confiscate documents, wages, or other personal belongings, and otherwise limit freedom of movement.
The labour recruiters must ensure that, prior to deployment, migrant workers are provided with written contracts in a language each worker understands, detailing the terms and conditions of employment including but not limited to the nature of work undertaken, rates of pay and pay arrangements, working hours, vacation and other leave, and all other lawful deductions from pay and benefits of employment in accordance with national law. The labour recruiters must ensure that the worker’s written consent is obtained without coercion.

The labour recruiters must not record, in files or registers, personal data which is not required for judging the aptitude of migrant workers for jobs for which they are being or could be considered, or required to facilitate their deployment.

The labour recruiters must ensure that all personal data that they collect, receive, use, transfer or store shall be treated as strictly confidential and shall not be communicated to any third party without the prior written informed consent of the worker or workers’ representative, unless required by law.

The labour recruiter must ensure that migrant workers have effective access to remedy, without fear of recrimination, reprisal, or dismissal, such as internal grievance procedures of the labour recruiter and/or the employer and to those remedies provided by law in the country of origin and destination, in relation to their recruitment activities.