IOM Trains Private Recruitment Agencies in Ethiopia in Ethical Recruitment

Adama, Ethiopia, 26 October 2022 - Twenty eight representatives of private recruitment agencies in Ethiopia have been trained to use the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) for ethical recruitment of migrant workers by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), within the framework of the Joint Labour Migration Programme (JLMP) and the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

This training follows identification of wide gaps in the implementation of internationally recognized human rights and labour standards, leading to the prevalence of modern slavery, debt bondage and exploitation, especially of women migrant workers who travel from Ethiopia to other countries, mostly in the Middle East.

Ethiopia is a major sending country for migrant workers, with a report released by IOM and the Ethiopian Statistics Service in 2021 revealing that 839,000 Ethiopians had migrated to other countries in search of job and economic opportunities in the preceding five years.

Top destination countries for Ethiopians on the move were the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, United States of America and Yemen, with emigration to the Gulf reported to be largely irregular and many reported missing or perished in dangerous land and sea routes.

Such irregular migration has led to the prevalence of unfair recruitment practices and enabled forced labor and trafficking in persons.

“With the understanding that migration is natural and a human right, all stakeholders have the responsibility to manage migration in a way that protects the rights, dignity and safety of people to realise benefits to the citizens and the country,” said Mrs Emye Bitew, Chief Executive of Overseas Employment in the Ministry of Labour and Skills.

On his part, Mr. Tekle Tesfu, the Head of PRAs licensing Desk in the Ministry of Labour and Skills recommended that Ethiopia ratify relevant labour migration standards, including those related to private recruitment agencies, as this will ensure coherence among the work of the government, recruiting agencies, civil society and the private sector.

 IRIS is a flagship initiative created by IOM and a coalition of partners from government, civil society and the private sector to promote ethical cross-border recruitment of migrant workers that is fair for all stakeholders, including migrant workers, employers, recruiters, and both countries of origin and destination.

It supports ethical labour recruitment by recognizing businesses that comply with ethical and transparent recruitment principles and helps improve management systems and recruitment processes through capacity building, leveling the recruitment playing field, and fostering industry-wide adoption of ethical recruitment principles.

IRIS responds to Objective 6 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), which aims to facilitate fair and ethical recruitment and to safeguard conditions that ensure decent work for migrant workers.

For more information contact: Eric MAZANGO,

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