The Open Working Group on Labour Migration & Recruitment is hosting its second online discussion—this one is on the topic of recruitment fees.

The charging of legal and illegal recruitment fees, which drive up the cost of migration, has been highlighted by our membership as the most pressing issue related to migrant labour recruitment. This longstanding issue requires urgent attention, and we are hoping to explore it in more detail to strengthen our collective analysis and policy recommendations.

The discussion will run for 2 weeks — from November 18th to December 2nd. The inputs will contribute to a short policy brief specific to recruitment fees.



1. Email
Send your responses to the listserv – Other members of the listserv will be able to see your answers and respond

2. Facebook
Respond to the questions we have posted on our Facebook Page –

3. Twitter
Tweet responses to @RecruitReform (Follow us –

4. Respond to the answers of others and/or ask questions!
Remember, this is a discussion not strictly a questionnaire. Please feel free to respond to the answers of others or ask questions to further your own knowledge on recruitment fees in different national or regional contexts.


1. Based on your work with migrant workers, what human and labour rights violations arise as a result of the charging of recruitment fees?

2. In your experience working with migrant workers, approximately how much debt are migrant workers taking on to finance their migration? (If you have specific numbers based on studies that you can share, please advise.) Are there major differences between the debtloads of those who migrate under regular vs. irregular situations?

3. In your experience working with migrant workers, how do migrant workers access the necessary funds to finance their migrations? Do they make enough money in their country of destination to pay back their debts, and if so, how long does it typically take?

4. What good practices are you aware of in regulating or abolishing recruitment fees for migrant workers?

5. What do you see as the primary challenges for governments in regulating or abolishing recruitment fees? What suggestions can we make to governments to overcome these challenges?

6. Do you have any case studies to share that demonstrate the relationship between rights violations and recruitment fees?

7. Do you have any other policy recommendations or comments related to recruitment fees?

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