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An exploratory study on the role of corruption in international labor migration

January 25, 2016

The exploratory research project An Exploratory Study on the Role of Corruption in International Labor Migration done by Verité and funded by the Freedom Fund examines the pervasive corruption within international migrant worker recruitment, detailing how bribery and illicit payments are entrenched in the process. These practices significantly exploit workers and perpetuate vulnerabilities to debt bondage and forced labour. Despite ongoing reform efforts, kickback commissions and bribes remain common across recruitment corridors.

Three transnational migrant worker recruitment corridors were analysed: Nepal to Qatar, Myanmar to Malaysia, and Myanmar to Thailand. The goal was to identify points in the recruitment process where bribes or illicit payments are solicited and paid, the entities implicated, and the nature of such payments, alongside the benefits accruing to employers. The report identifies points where illicit payments occur, implicating both recruitment agents and government officials. These practices allow employers to shift upfront costs onto migrant workers. Formal and informal channels alike present risks to migrants, highlighting the urgent need for collective action to protect worker rights and combat corruption.

Click here or on the image below to access the report.


Written by
The Freedom Fund