The sixth session of the Unleash Opportunity series Repayment of Recruitment Fees took place on 7 October 2021.
Joyce Chau, amfori Director APAC, delivered a keynote as the moderator in which she reiterated that it is challenging to resolve the issue of recruitment fees and its barriers, such as the lack of law enforcement and engagement. It will be very important for stakeholders to collaborate and support each other to monitor, remediate and prevent the risks together.
Pawel Szalus, IRIS Programme Manager of IOM provided an overview of the status quo on migration and forced labour, stating that out of the 164 million international migrant workers, 40 million are victims of modern slavery and 25 million victims of forced labour and the underlying root causes and challenges such as deceptive recruitment practices, high recruitment fees and costs, lack of
transparency/contract substitution. He stressed amfori’s unique position to foster demand for ethical recruitment services in close collaboration with IOM.
Participants also gained an insight into principles and guidelines for the repayment of migrant worker recruitment fees and related costs and how amfori and other stakeholders can support them in implementing these guidelines. Rosey Hurst, Director of Impactt Limited shared their experience in this regard and called upon amfori to foster collaboration between its members and recruitment stakeholders.
Rachel Vujovic, Manager, Corporate Responsibility International of Hofer KG presented their approach to remediating cases of unethical recruitment and encouraged amfori to continue to help members to share experience with each other and foster transparency between members and beyond to work towards a standardised approach on the repayment of recruitment fees together with other stakeholders.
Jaap Jansen, Membership Lead of amfori acknowledged the views and suggestions raised above and added that amfori will continue to play a role in disseminating information and fostering collaboration between members in both horizontal and vertical directions along the value chain.
Joyce Chau concluded the session by echoing that resolving the issue of recruitment fees is not a standalone task but a part of the responsible recruitment strategy. All stakeholders, including supply chain actors and policymakers should work together and make good use of available resources, such as global programme and professional support to address the challenges ahead.
If you were not able to join us live, the recording is available below.
If you have any questions, please contact Franzis Wimmer, Stakeholder Engagement Advisor at amfori.