Key Recommendation 6: Exploring more G2G recruitment

Fully explore, including by carrying out rights-based assessments, the viability of carrying out more recruitment activities themselves, as a means of reducing fraud and abuse.
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Construction workers from Myanmar, 2020. © Yes058 Montree Nanta / Shutterstock

The direct involvement of governments as recruiters of migrant workers (government-to-government or “G2G” recruitment), rather than as regulators of recruitment processes, has decreased. Most cooperation between states in this study is based on MOU frameworks under which the private sector in each country carries out recruitment. In some cases, the replacement by the state of private recruiters may offer improved outcomes, particularly with regard to fraudulent and abusive recruitment practices.

Criticisms of G2G programmes include their tendency to be characterised by lengthy processes and their inability to recruit at scale, and as advocates of increased G2G recruitment have noted, the replacement of the private sector by government agencies is not a panacea - it does not address structural factors within temporary migration schemes that continue to make exploitation and abuse more likely, such as lack of job mobility and exclusion from labour protections. With this caveat in mind, we nonetheless recommend governments should give proper consideration to where their involvement in the recruitment process - including to replace the private sector - may be necessary, viable and beneficial. Governments should:

6.1. Where mechanisms for government recruitment are already in place, carry out independent impact assessments that examine their effectiveness in ensuring fair and ethical recruitment and compare their performance in that regard to private sector models of recruitment. Where there is evidence of a benefit for worker outcomes, consider scaling up such government processes to make them more attractive for workers and employers.

6.2. Carry out rights-based assessments to determine whether by establishing new government-to-government labour migration programmes, with state institutions carrying out recruitment, fraud and abuse could be reduced. Integrate the findings of such assessments into bilateral migration discussions, and discussions with employer associations.