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Issara brings employers and recruitment agencies together to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their current labour recruitment practices, and develop improvement plans to get their recruitment channels on a more ethical track.  Issara then brings Inclusive Labour Monitoring (ILM), Golden Dreams, and civil society support into the process, empowering workers to educate themselves about their rights and options, browse and apply for fair jobs, and verify and validate recruitment costs and conditions, starting from the first mile in the origin country. 


A range of capacity building trainings and other technical support is provided to both recruitment agencies and suppliers, connected to these broader systems, to help strengthen their own recruitment procedures and grievance mechanisms.


Jan 2023.  Ethical Recruitment Networks and Transformative Technologies for Migrant Workers can effectively eliminate exploitative labour recruitment and labour trafficking, transform recruitment systems and corridors, and improve the lives of millions of workers.


How do they work?  How are the roles of civil society (trade unions and NGOs) and government so important? How do they take us beyond compliance, and why is that important? Read on to find out!


October 2022.  First released in November 2017, the Issara Worker Voice-Driven Ethical Recruitment Toolkit has been expanded and updated through the years to meet the needs of suppliers and recruitment agencies in South and Southeast Asia.  This new October 2022 version includes a number of exciting new tools that have been deployed in the Asia region throughout the course of 2022, helping suppliers and recruiters meet the challenges of post-COVID cross-border labour recruitment into and within the ASEAN region.

Tools include:

1.  Preparing Comprehensive Job Advertisements for the Recruitment of Foreign Workers

2.  Selection Criteria & Vetting Process for Recruitment Agencies: A Tool for Employers (Suppliers)

3.  Checklist: Ethical Management Services Agreement (MSA) between Employers & Recruiters

4.  Diagnostic of Current Labour Recruitment Practices

5.  Checklist: Ethical Employment Contracts - Good Practice

6.  Guidelines: Ethical Recruitment Networks


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tech that makes ethical recruitment a reality:

Where employers or recruiters can advertise jobs for low-skilled migrant workers, transparently and free-of-charge for them and for workers.  Learn all about it from our 3-minute explainer video...over 2,000 job vacancies were posted by responsible Thai employers in just the first 2 weeks!


Yes, it can be done, as verified by workers!  But from our experience it cannot be achieved in any scalable or sustainable way through recruitment agency certification schemes, audits, or pilot programs centered on "picking winners" that disregard the larger market.  Training and capacity building can help when tied to more ethical, transparent systems for labour recruitment - but when they are not, they run the risk of being less impactful than they could be.


With more and more brands and retailers adopting ethical recruitment policies and taking more seriously the risks that exploitative recruitment pose to US Tariff Act compliance, it's a good time to deconstruct some of the key components of systems to identify, validate, and then eliminate exploitative recruitment fees and conduct, down to the first mile in the origin country of the worker.  The main component is empowered worker voice, down to the first mile, for two reasons:

  1. From a remediation standpoint, the true breadth of illegal recruitment fees consistently evade auditors and social compliance consultancies, and are only shared by workers with trusted partners that can protect them from retaliation; and,

  2. From a prevention standpoint, empowered jobseekers and workers connected to information (and even choices of jobs with responsible employers!) can make better choices on their own, and actively identify and avoid exploitative recruitment.


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