The Business of Migrant Worker Recruitment: Who Has the Responsibility and Leverage to Protect Rights?

45 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2018 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Bassina Farbenblum

Bassina Farbenblum

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Justine Nolan

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

Recruitment of low-wage migrant workers has become a vast global commercial enterprise, particularly in Asia. As the industry becomes increasingly associated with systemic human-rights abuses, calls for wholesale transformation are emerging. This Article establishes that states and businesses share human rights responsibilities to ensure migrant worker protection and access to remedy. It then addresses the next obvious question: Who are the relevant actors to drive recruitment industry reform and what roles should they play? The authors contend that systemic change requires establishing a global market that commercially incentivizes fair recruiters and the suppliers that engage them, along with a transnational governance framework that identifies and sanctions those that do not. The Article identifies the unique forms of leverage that state, business, and civil society actors can exert to realize this change and explains why these stakeholders must act in concert to overcome commercial, political, and practical barriers to reform.

Keywords: migrant worker, recruitment, human rights, business, access to remedy, middle east, countries of origin, multinationals, business, human rights, access to justice, governance, transnational

JEL Classification: K31, K37

Suggested Citation

Farbenblum, Bassina and Nolan, Justine, The Business of Migrant Worker Recruitment: Who Has the Responsibility and Leverage to Protect Rights? (2017). Texas International Law Journal, Vol. 52, No. 1, 2017, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 18-26, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3140106

Bassina Farbenblum (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Justine Nolan

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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