The Business of Migrant Worker Recruitment: Who Has the Responsibility and Leverage to Protect Rights?
45 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2018 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018
Date Written: 2017
Recruitment of low-wage migrant workers has become a vast global commercial enterprise, particularly in Asia. As the industry becomes increasingly associated with systemic human-rights abuses, calls for wholesale transformation are emerging. This Article establishes that states and businesses share human rights responsibilities to ensure migrant worker protection and access to remedy. It then addresses the next obvious question: Who are the relevant actors to drive recruitment industry reform and what roles should they play? The authors contend that systemic change requires establishing a global market that commercially incentivizes fair recruiters and the suppliers that engage them, along with a transnational governance framework that identifies and sanctions those that do not. The Article identifies the unique forms of leverage that state, business, and civil society actors can exert to realize this change and explains why these stakeholders must act in concert to overcome commercial, political, and practical barriers to reform.
Keywords: migrant worker, recruitment, human rights, business, access to remedy, middle east, countries of origin, multinationals, business, human rights, access to justice, governance, transnational
JEL Classification: K31, K37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation