ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative, 24 June 2015

This working paper aims to shed light on the business models of labour recruiters that facilitate the recruitment of women from South Asian countries into domestic work in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Bangladesh, Jordan and Lebanon.

Focusing primarily on Bangladesh, Jordan and Lebanon, the study draws on 126 interviews conducted with key stakeholders, to analyse the recruitment ‘business model’ utilised by private employment agencies specialising on the domestic work sector.

Globally, the international recruitment industry is composed of an increasingly complex web of actors. In order to profit, private employment agencies must devise competitive strategies to generate income greater than the costs of selecting, processing and mobilising people into jobs. Such business models are dynamic and responsive to changes in market demands and skills’ availability.

The study also assesses the influence of national laws, policies and regulations on how private employment agencies conduct their business. By illuminating the factors that guide the actions of private employment agencies, the study aims to inform better policies and interventions to protect migrant domestic workers and eliminate abusive practices.



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