The International Organization of Employers (IOE) is deepening its engagement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on the interface between employment and migration. As part of this, USCIB Senior Counsel (and IOE Regional Vice President for North America) Ronnie Goldberg and IOE Senior Adviser Frederick Muia attended a recent expert meeting on ethical recruitment.
The two day meeting, which was also attended by Cindy Sawyer of The Coca-Cola Company and Annemarie Muntz of Randstad Holding NV, two IOE partner companies, discussed the development of the operational protocol of the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), an international voluntary ethical recruitment framework that will benefit all stakeholders in the labor migration process.
Speaking during the opening session, Goldberg called for a practical operational tool that would recognize, reward and build on the efforts being undertaken by the “good” actors in the recruitment chain and find ways to identify, isolate and hopefully eliminate the bad actors. She noted that companies were taking measures to ensure transparency in their labor supply chain and that all recruitment activities were being performed in accordance with ethical recruitment principles. These efforts are helping companies mitigate the risk of unforeseen links to forced labor, child labor and human trafficking.
Speaking during the session dedicated to partners of the initiative, Muia underscored the importance of the IOE in enabling member federations and partner companies to have a platform to push for immigration policies that are efficient and transparent so that companies can move skills and talent across borders. Muia also spoke about the need to strengthen government institutions particularly in fragile states. As IRIS was a voluntary initiative it could only compliment government efforts whose role was critical in addressing cases of criminal activity such as human trafficking.
Muntz, who is also president of the International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies (CIETT), underscored the role of the recruitment industry in self-regulation. She explained how the CIETT code of conduct helps mobilize member companies and associations to promote ethical recruitment practices both at national and international levels. She highlighted the need to continue efforts to promote the ratification of ILO Convention 181 on private employment agencies as it gave these agencies the necessary recognition to carry out their legitimate activities.
Sawyer focused on the role of multinational enterprises in taking the lead in ethical recruitment of migrant workers and promotion of good employment practices. She gave the example of The Coca-Cola Company that had issued Supplier Guiding Principles that expressly prohibit the use of all forms of forced labor and trafficking.