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Oxford HR’s Erik van Weert, our Deputy Director for Europe, recently attended the Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment from 12-15 April. Hosted by IHRB, the ILO, and IOM, the annual GFRR is a thought leadership platform for accelerating the fair, ethical and responsible recruitment of migrant workers. It convenes a global ecosystem and marketplace – global brands, suppliers, recruitment agencies, governments, employers and employer’s organisations, workers and workers’ organisations, intergovernmental and civil society organisations – to take stock, nurture ideas, foster engagement and inspire action.

The 2021 GFRR spanned four days, convening 16 discussions covering the spectrum of challenges, opportunities and lessons learned toward the advancement of fair, ethical, and responsible recruitment.

We are pleased to share some of the key takeaways from the opening discussion and the link to take-aways from all sessions.

The Pandemic

  • The Pandemic has intensified pre-existing risks and migrant workers are among the most vulnerable
  • Recruitment must be performed in a way that mitigates risks and exposure to COVID-19
  • We need to double our efforts to ensure women migrant workers (42%) receive fair and ethical recruitment and employment, as they can become invisible due to the jobs they do. They are often frontline workers – Rae Lindsay (IHRB)

The Need for Collaboration

  • “Without coordination, we will not succeed”- António Vitorino (IOM)
  • We must acknowledge the complexity of the challenge involving various stakeholders in the recruitment process. No one actor can take this on their own. When we have a harmonised response, we can change systems, processes, increase accountability and impact how the market works
  • The Leadership Group with 15 international brands, making the commitment to the Employer Pays Principle, is an attempt at leveraging collaborative change

Respect and dignity

  • “The respect we accord to migrant workers and the dignity of their work reflects on us as a society” – Guy Ryder (ILO)
  • “… the beginning of decent work is fair and ethical recruitment”- António Vitorino (IOM)
  • We must be persistent to achieve ethical recruitment and creative about the solutions that will put migrant workers at the centre of the lens

Changing the Narrative, Perceptions of Migrant Workers

  • We need to acknowledge the positive contribution migrant workers make to the economy globally
  • And also how they support sustainable development, through remittances they send back to their home countries
  • We need to consider how we can increase equality for migrant workers and through their role in economic development

For more insights check here.

Erik van Weert
Erik van Weert
Director, Europe at Oxford HR

Erik is based in the Netherlands and has over 25 years of experience in international development and joined Oxford HR in 2020. He has a strong track record in organizational development, resource mobilisation (> 100 M) and building successful teams and partnerships.

He has an extensive track record in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa with SNV Dutch Development Organisation and Enabel (Belgium Development Agency) in Sudan, Bolivia and Ecuador. He worked with ERAC impact consultancies, Rutgers and RNW Media in the Netherlands as a lead consultant and business development director.

Erik has an MBA focused on organisational strategy and innovation and a Master International Development Studies and Social Geography. He is passionate about organisational transformations, the fourth industrial revolution and supporting organisations to grow their impact.