Government Engagement

Strengthening the Regulation of International Recruitment

In many migration corridors, the vulnerability experienced by migrant workers is exacerbated by weaknesses in government regulation and enforcement. Inconsistencies across jurisdictions, coupled with uneven enforcement capacity, can lead to gaps in migrant protection.

To address this, IOM supports Member States through IRIS. This includes awareness raising and capacity building programmes as well as targetted assistance in policy dialogue at national, sub-national and regional levels.

IRIS takes a “whole of government” approach to promote ethical recruitment and protect migrant workers. This means facilitating dialogue within and between governments, between national and sub-national authorities and between government and relevant stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society. It also includes supporting the development and implementation of National Action Plans, Roadmaps and bilateral arrangements on ethical recruitment, and the development of new labour migration and recruitment policies. IRIS also facilitates learning and cross-fertilisation by convening global and regional conferences to share experiences, identify common challenges and disseminate good practices between Member States.


Montréal Global Conference

On June 6th and 7th, 2019, IOM co-hosted the first-ever Global Conference on the Regulation of International Recruitment in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation; the US Department of State; and the Province of Quebec.

Over 100 participants from 30+ countries attended, using the two days to examine challenges, opportunities, and good practices to improve regulation and enforcement related to cross-border labour recruitment. Senior policymakers, leading experts, and practitioners representing Ministries of Labour, Foreign Affairs, and Immigration lead a global dialogue to create clear, practical guidance to better monitor the private recruitment industry and protect migrant workers through the process of recruitment, deployment, and employment.

The meeting documents are available here: