The Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity are a set of human rights based principles to enhance respect for the rights of migrant workers from the moment of recruitment, during overseas employment and through to further employment or safe return to home countries. They are intended for use by all industry sectors and in any country where workers migrate either inwards or outwards.
They are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and international labour and human rights standards. The Dhaka Principles provide a roadmap that traces the worker from home to place of employment and back again and provides key principles that employers and migrant recruiters should respect at each stage in the process to ensure migration with dignity. The Dhaka Principles were officially launched on International Migrants Day, 18th December 2012.
The Dhaka Principles were developed by the Institute for Human Rights and Business in consultation with a range of stakeholders from business, government, trade unions and civil society. The first draft was shared publicly at a migration roundtable in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 2011. IHRB continues to manage and promote the Dhaka Principles globally.
Principles for the responsible recruitment and employment of migrant workers
Core Principle A All workers are treated equally and without discrimination
Migrant workers should be treated no less favourably than other workers performing the same or similar work. Moreover, migrant workers should be protected from any discrimination that would constitute a violation of human rights.
Core Principle B All workers enjoy the protection of employment law
Migrant workers should have a legally recognised employment relationship with an identifiable and legitimate employer in the country where the work is performed.
Principle 1 No fees are charged to workers
The employer should bear the full costs of recruitment and placement. Migrant workers are not charged any fees for recruitment or placement.
Principle 2 All worker contracts are clear and transparent
Migrant workers should be provided with written contracts in a language each worker understands, with all terms and conditions explained clearly, and the worker’s assent obtained without coercion.
Principle 3 Policies and procedures are inclusive
Migrant workers’ rights should be explicitly referred to in employer and migrant recruiter public human rights policy statements, relevant operational policies and procedures addressing human rights responsibilities.
Principle 4 No workers’ passports or identity documents are retained
Migrant workers should have free and complete access to their own passport, identity documents, and residency papers, and enjoy freedom of movement.
Principle 5 Wages are paid regularly, directly and on time
Migrant workers should be paid what they are due on time, regularly and directly.
Principle 6 The right to worker representation is respected
Migrant workers should have the same rights to join and form trade unions and to bargain collectively as other workers.
Principle 7 Working conditions are safe and decent
Migrant workers should enjoy safe and decent conditions of work, free from harassment, any form of intimidation or inhuman treatment. They should receive adequate health and safety provision and training in relevant languages.
Principle 8 Living conditions are safe and decent
Migrant workers should enjoy safe and hygienic living conditions, and safe transport between the workplace and their accommodation. Migrant workers should not be denied freedom of movement, or confined to their living quarters.
Principle 9 Access to remedy is provided
Migrant workers should have access to judicial remedy and to credible grievance mechanisms, without fear of recrimination or dismissal.
Principle 10 Freedom to change employment is respected, and safe, timely return is guaranteed
Migrant workers should be guaranteed provision for return home on contract completion and in exceptional situations. They should not, however, be prevented from seeking or changing employment in the host country on completion of first contract or after two years, whichever is less.
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