Respect for and protection of migrants’ rights lies at the core of ethical recruitment and IRIS. In recent years, a growing interest in ethical recruitment has been accompanied by a focus on the unique vulnerabilities of migrant workers in the global economy. This has inspired the concept of “migrant voice”, an umbrella term that captures a range of migrant-centred activities. 

For workers, ethical recruitment means being hired lawfully and in a fair and transparent manner that respects and protects workers’ human rights and dignity. 

IRIS helps to protect and empower migrant workers by: 

  • Improving transparency of the recruitment and deployment processes 
  • Eliminating the risks of exploitation during recruitment 
  • Improving access to remedy 

Specific activities include community and grassroots engagement, direct outreach and support through Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) and partnerships with civil society, migrants’ rights groups, the labour movement and other non-profit organisations. The goal of these activities is to empower migrant workers and the organisations that advocate on their behalf. 

In practical terms, IRIS pilots comprehensive training programmes for migrants that involve pre-departure, post-arrival, employment, cultural and pre-return orientation. It also supports civil society monitoring of international recruitment practices and grievance mechanisms that link CSOs in countries of origin and destination. These activities support the development of an ethical recruitment “safety net”, promote remedy (when needed) and enhance a holistic safe migration experience for migrants in corridors where IRIS is active. 

How can civil society organizations and trade unions support IRIS? 

  • Promote ethical recruitment through community-based outreach 
  • Empower migrant workers through information sharing and support 
  • Co-create and actively participate in worker engagement platforms 
  • Bring the voices of migrants to IRIS multi-stakeholder consultations 
  • Inform ethical recruitment due diligence and support compliance monitoring of labour recruiters 
  • Support the implementation of government regulation related to recruitment, migration, human rights and decent work standards.