Report launch

AIM-Progress and Consumer Goods Forum release practical guidance on repayment of worker-paid recruitment fees

28 Oct 2022

Collaboration across consumer goods organisations in action: AIM-Progress, through its Responsible Recruitment working group, together with the Consumer Goods Forum’s Human Rights Coalition have released a step-by-step guide for repayment of worker-paid recruitment fees to support corporate action around the topic.

As workers in global supply chains – particularly migrant workers – may be coerced to pay fees to recruitment agencies in order to secure jobs, they are at risk of falling into debt bondage, which may lead to cases of forced labour. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), around one-fifth of all people in forced labour exploitation in the private economy are in situations of debt bondage.

This Guidance is intended to be a practical tool for all businesses to help ensure their recruitment and employment practices in respect of the CGF’s Priority Industry Principles (PIPs), to which AIM-Progress subscribes. They were launched in 2017 and define the most common, yet problematic, employment practices which can lead to cases of forced labour. The PIPs state:

  • All workers should have freedom of movement.
  • No worker should pay for a job.
  • No worker should be indebted or coerced to work.

The new Guidance is a powerful tool to support companies respect these Principles, particularly the second – no worker should pay for a job – as well as the Employer Pays Principle, in their employment practices. The Guidance is designed to be updated as the global sustainability landscape evolves, businesses enhance their human rights due diligence (HRDD) systems, and more actors undergo the remediation process. With its step-by-step guidelines for how to repay workers for any recruitment fees and related costs, the CGF HRC and AIM-Progress invite all relevant actors from different sectors to use this Guidance as a tool to strengthen their HRDD approach, especially in areas where recruitment fees are a common practice, to ensure responsible recruitment of workers worldwide.

Download here our Joint Guidelines for the Repayment of Recruitment Fees.

For questions, please contact the AIM-Progress human rights project manager Yael Fattal (yael.