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Fraudulent Practices of Recruiters on Migrant Workers


Recruitment is the process of analyzing, attracting and hiring qualified candidates to fill a given job position in the organization. However, this process is currently full of fraudulent practices, especially on migrant employees throughout the world. Fraudulent practices of recruitment agencies and employers make the biggest problem for migrant workers worldwide (Andrees, Nasri, & Swiniarski, 2015).

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One would wonder why migrant workers are the most affected. The market model for demand and supply argues that employing migrant workers leads to reduced wages of the native workers. As a result, many agencies have extended their recruitment to migrant workers who are desperately in need of a job. They end up advertising for non-existent positions. Since the majority of migrant workers lack first-hand information about the companies that the agencies depict in their adverts, the group becomes an easy target for deception.

To curb this practice, current measures have been stipulated. Such measures include the creation of employment in the migrants’ native countries, monitoring and enforcement of quality recruitment standards, protection of migrant rights, awareness for migrant workers not to pay recruitment fees, and the creation of policies by the UN to address fair recruitment of migrants among others. Despite this measures being put in place, fraudulent practices are still taking place in recruitment agencies that target desperate migrant workers. Hence, there is a need to equip the victims with the required knowledge and skills to help them counter these problems on their own.


Exploitative recruitment practices that migrant workers encounter include being denied rights to join trade unions, underpayment, threats in the employing countries, and being forced to pay illegal recruitment charges. Different countries worldwide, for instance, the US, the UAE, and South East Asia in collaboration with organizations such as the UN have tried to develop and reinforce measures to curb fraudulent recruitment of migrants.

The United Nations Efforts

The United Nation greatly advocated effective recruitment of migrants through different strategies. For instance, it raised awareness on ways and need to eliminate fraudulent practices in the recruitment of migrants among recruiters and employment agencies from both the private and public sectors (The United Nations, 2015). This body helped in developing policies to curb violation and discrimination that targets migrant workers.

For instance, the UN has a body, namely, the International Labor Organization, which has established various clauses. Such clauses include, “Convention No. 97 of 1949 (C97) that addresses migration for employment and Convention No. 143 of 1975 (C143), which is concerned with migrations in abusive conditions and the promotion of equality of opportunity and treatment of migrant workers” (Cholewinski, 2005, para. 7).

The UN has also helped to foster transparency in the whole process of recruitment, hence helping to lower the level of corruption cases such as recruiters asking migrants to pay recruitment fees among others. This body has also developed a proper complaint mechanism to help the victims in communicating the problems they undergo (The United Nations, 2015). Hence, with the UN efforts, migrant workers have a better chance of receiving justice and compensation. Besides the mentioned efforts, other efforts by the UN include ensuring that migrants who seek jobs not only receive the freedom of association but also join trade unions of their choice. Joining of trade unions is meant to help them in receiving medical covers and/or communicating their work-related complaints.

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The US Efforts

The United States agencies have a great responsibility in ensuring that migrant recruitment processes are conducted in a proper manner without discrimination in one way or another. The United States has drafted a regional agreement that contains parameters for the working and recruitment of migrant workers. The American government has also adopted a legislative perspective, which states the minimum wages for migrant workers, including other requirements that relate to their overseas jobs.

For instance, Canada and Mexico’s joint Seasonal Agricultural Worker’s program has been established following the US calls for other governments to fight unfair recruitment process that targets migrant workers. The US has also used other regulations to improve the recruitment of migrants. Such bodies and policies include Canada’s Worker Recruitment, the UK Gang Master’s Licensing Authority, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, and the Protection Act.

The UAE Efforts

The Unites Arab Emirates has the largest number of foreign workers who make up 85% of the population. The UAE’s efforts to protect migrant workers included the development of a draft of labor laws in 2007. Its efforts progressed in August the same year when the New York Times the UAE’s move to upgrade all its employees’ living conditions together with health benefits. Just like native employees, migrant employees started to receive better health practices such as insurance covers among others.

Hillary Clinton released a report in 201 crediting the UAE for its quality work in addressing migrant workers’ issues. The UAE has allowed women from different countries such as Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh to work in different sectors without any form of discrimination. Besides the passing of laws by the UAE, migrant workers are still receiving mistreatment, though at reduced levels, and hence need for stern policies that will help to curb the situation in the UAE.

Efforts by South East Asia

South East Asia adopted the plan to protect the rights of migrant workers in 2007 when its leaders met and discussed in the Philippines. This plan aimed at eliminating the Malaysia and Thailand Program of 1997 where migrants were laid off to create jobs for local workers. Thailand was challenged in its unfair plan that discriminated migrant workers. In 2009, it stated that it would allow the 500,000 migrants who had been employed to proceed with their work in the country.

However, the unemployed ones were required to go back to their countries until they acquired their passports. South East Asia used trade unions to help in curbing any mistreatment of the migrant workers. The unions and workers’ organizations included the Corporation Labor Confederation, All-China Federation of Trade Unions, Malaysia Trade Union Congress, Labor Congress of Thailand, and Thai Labor Solidarity Committee among others. The trade unions participated in negotiating and lobbying for improved conditions in the employment sectors and providing supportive information to migrant workers.


Different countries have a big role to play in the recruitment of foreigners. Although recruitment agencies have been blamed for engaging in illegal recruitment procedures, several countries have intervened by establishing bodies and policies whose key agenda is to fight unfair recruitment procedure that focuses on migrant workers. There is the need to understand that employing foreigners has both benefits and challenges.

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The advantages associated with their employment are more than the challenges. Language barrier and cultural differences are some of the challenges associated with this group of individuals. However, in terms of their advantages, migrant workers play a crucial role in enhancing diversity in the workplace, enhancing productivity, and/or helping a country to achieve a high gross domestic product. Besides, the employing countries tend to receive international recognition, hence acquiring a large market base, thanks to their move to offer unconditional employment to migrant workers.

Reference List

Andrees, B., Nasri, A., & Swiniarski, P. (2015). Regulating labor recruitment to prevent human trafficking and to foster fair migration: Models, challenges and opportunities. Geneva: ILO.

Cholewinski, R. (2005). Protecting Migrant Workers in a Globalized World. Web.

The United Nations. (2015). The Role of Recruitment Fess and Abusive and Fraudulent Practices of Recruitment Agencies in Trafficking in Persons. Vienna: United Nations Office on Drug and Crime.

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