In the current global recruitment model, migrant workes pay exorbitant recruitment fees to secure low paying jobs. As a result, migrant workers typically remain indebted for as much as a year or two before they are able to earn a living wage enabling them to sustain themselves and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an abrupt end to the deployment and employment of millions of migrant workers across the globe, many of which are indebted to agents, sub-agents, family members or small lenders back home.

If there is one thing that we could learn from this crisis, it is that we must bring an end to the current situation of exploitative practices and move towards an ‘employer- pays’ model of recruitment. The pandemic has opened up an opportunity to move the recruitment reform agenda forward to build back better towards fair and ethical recruitment practices.

In line with understanding the impact of COVID-19 on recruitment of migrant workers, Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is organizing a webinar: “Build Back Better:  Advancing the Recruitment Reform Agenda Post COVID-19”.

The webinar will have the following objectives:

  • Understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the recruitment of migrant workers
  • Provide a venue to discuss how to build back better post COVID-19 in line with advancing the recruitment reform agenda.

The outcome of the webinar will contribute to a policy brief on advancing the recruitment reform agenda and will serve as background document for a regional stakeholders’consultation on recruitment reform that is will be held in 2021.

The webinar will attempt to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the current situation of migrant workers whose recruitment was affected by COVID-19?
  2. Are there policies or directives in place to address the issues of migrants who were not deployed?
  3. How will the recruitment industry transform as things move to the “new normal”? What changes will be expected in the recruitment industry?
  4. How can this situation be used as an opportunity to advance the recruitment reform agenda toward fair and ethical recruitment practices?

Moderator: Migrant Forum in Asia


  • Chowdhury Abrar, Refugee and Migratory Movements Unit (RMMRU), CSO representative from Bangladesh and chairperson of the Bangladesh Civil Society for Migration (BCSM) (tbc)
  • Raquel E. Bracero, President, Board of Directors, Philippine Association of Service Exporters, Inc. (PASEI) (tbc)
  • Government representative from Nepal (tbc)
  • Maximillian Pottler, IOM CREST project manager
  • Representative from the private sector (tbc)


The proposed participants of the webinar will include migrant civil society organizations, trade unions, private sector, international institutions including among othersrepresentatives from IOM and ILO.

Registration, Date and Time of Webinar:

The webinar is organized via zoom and all participants are requested to register. Please register for the webinar at link:

The webinar will be held on Thursday, 6 August 2020 at 4PM Manila time. To check the time in your country please click the link:

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