Stakeholder Engagement

IRIS is a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together a wide range of actors committed to drive positive change in the cross-border recruitment of migrant workers. 

Since its launch in 2014, IRIS has adopted a partnership approach characterized by close cooperation with a wide range of actors including the recruitment industry, governments, civil society organizations and trade unions, international organizations, employers, brands, industry associations as well as other multi-stakeholder initiatives and the social auditing community. These partnerships aim to establish effective platforms and create frameworks for ethical recruitment, and to generate, match and sustain supply and demand for ethical recruitment services. Our partnerships leverage the combined strength and influence of each actor to effectively promote ethical recruitment and respect for the rights of migrant workers.  

At the global level, we are a founding member of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment and cooperate closely with organisations such as the Consumer Goods Forum, Fair Labor Association, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Migrant Forum in Asia, the Responsible Business Alliance, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and Social Accountability International.  

We also support diverse regional consultative processes, including the Colombo Process and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue. Within the UN family, we align closely with the normative framework of the ILO and cooperate with them in the implementation of regional and national-level programmes. Within IOM, IRIS works closely with  regional programmes such as CREST (Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking). 

How can brands and employers support IRIS? 

  • Integrate ethical recruitment principles into policies and supply chain Codes of Conduct  
  • Promote ethical recruitment practices throughout supply chains 
  • Adopt the Employer Pays Principle to ensure that the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer, not by migrant workers  
  • Pilot test IRIS in supply chains and cross-border recruitment corridors 
  • Share best practices and lessons learned  
  • Use only IRIS-committed labour recruiters to enhance demand for ethical recruitment services and IRIS Certification 

How can governments support IRIS? 

  • Align policy and regulation with international standards for ethical recruitment. Review, adopt and implement the Montreal Recommendations on Recruitment and global guidance provided in the IRIS Handbook for Governments on Ethical Recruitment and Migrant Worker Protection
  • Introduce registration and licensing that encourage private recruitment agencies to enrol in the IRIS Capacity Building Programme 
  • Strengthen the enforcement of existing recruitment regulation 
  • Within formal labour mobility schemes, introduce criteria that require participating labour recruiters to demonstrate commitment to ethical recruitment and a track record of good practice 
  • Introduce ethical recruitment provisions into bilateral labour arrangements and Memoranda of Understanding 
  • Encourage employers to adopt the ‘Employer Pays Principle’ to ensure that migrant workers are not paying the fees and costs of recruitment 
  • Introduce ranking and rewards systems to incentivize compliance to ethical recruitment and best practices 
  • Reform public procurement guidelines to include provisions of ethical recruitment  
  • Support grievance, remedy and referral mechanisms 

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