The International Labor Recruitment Working Group
Formed in October 2011, the ILRWG is the first coordinated effort to strategically address abuses in international labor recruitment across visa categories. The Working Group is comprised of organizations working in various industries and with workers with a wide variety of visa types. The Working Group seeks to end the systemic abuse of international workers who are recruited to the U.S., by collaborating across labor sectors to develop comprehensive policies and advocate for reforms, including increased enforcement of existing laws and increased transparency in the labor recruitment process. They also attempt to highlight the shortcomings and gaps in the current regulatory and enforcement framework governing international worker programs and demonstrate the terrible human cost of failing to ensure basic worker protections in the United States. Lastly, the Working Group aims to shift the conceptual framing of guestworker protections to one that recognizes the systematic abuses in the recruitment of foreign workers as a form of economic coercion. Accordingly, they have developed a list of eight principles that should be ensured in any guestworker program. They argue that these principles should inform any comprehensive overhaul of the regulations, structure and enforcement of all visa categories that are used to recruit international workers to the U.S.
- Freedom from discrimination and retaliation;
- Right to know the process and their rights;
- Freedom from economic coercion;
- Right to receive contract with fair terms and give informed consent;
- Accountability of the employer;
- Freedom of movement while working in the U.S.;
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining with labor unions and organizations; and
- Access to justice.
Access the website at: http://fairlaborrecruitment.wordpress.com
- Is Trafficking in Human Beings Demand Driven? A Multi-Country Pilot Study by Bridget Anderson & Julia O’Connell Davidson, International Organization for Migration (2003)
- The American Dream Up for Sale: A Blueprint for Ending International Labor Recruitment Abuse by The International Labor Recruitment Working Group
- Labor abuse in the name of “cultural exchange,” courtesy of the J-1 visa program (again)
- Convergences and Divergences in International Legal Norms on Migrant Labor by Chantal Thomas
- USING INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW TO BETTER PROTECT VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING: THE PROHIBITIONS ON SLAVERY, SERVITUDE FORCED LABOR AND DEBT BONDAGE by Anne Gallagher