The concept of responsible recruitment has been gaining momentum recently as an important mechanism for protecting migrant workers. As part of the Meneshachin, “Our Departure,” project, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Freedom Fund set out to consolidate global evidence on models of responsible recruitment.
The desk-based study, following a rigorous search strategy, identified 101 responsible recruitment initiatives from 32 countries. Initiatives included policy and programmatic interventions in source countries to reduce harm against, and improve the welfare of, low-wage migrant workers employed overseas. The most common initiatives were those targeting knowledge building and training (40 initiatives were identified). This was followed by regulation initiatives (27) and migration cost reduction (13). The source country with the most responsible recruitment initiatives covered in this study is the Philippines (13), followed by Nepal (12) and Bangladesh (8).
The study set out to review the efficacy of responsible recruitment initiatives, however, a distinct lack of evidence regarding effectiveness was uncovered. This is an important finding in itself and highlights the need for more robust evaluations of safer migration policies and programs.
This global evidence will feed into the next phase of the Meneshachin research project, where data collection will take place in Ethiopia to develop context-specific models of responsible recruitment. By consolidating and building on existing global knowledge, we hope to encourage more data-driven approaches to anti-trafficking interventions.