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CID Modern Day Slavery Research Report

Posted on 24 August 2021

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This new research explores how migrant workers in South East Asia and elsewhere are vulnerable to exploitation by brokers who charge excessive recruitment fees, withhold identification documents of the migrant workers, and provide misleading information regarding job offers.  

The paper is a co-authored report by the Council for International Development, the Mekong Club, and Dr. Jacqueline Parisi’s Impact Effect. It follows a detailed research process gathering information on recruitment fees and practices in various migration corridors throughout Asia.

Throughout the research process, it became apparent that the internal migration corridors especially had a large gap in the amount of literature already published. This provides an exciting opportunity for us to contribute original work to the previously unexplored body of knowledge surrounding migration practices overseas. Research showed that many companies have acknowledged the links between recruitment fees and practices and can suggest best practices going forward.  

However Covid placed restrictions on the research and surveys possible now, and there are gaps in this first stage of the research. It is clear that more research is urgently needed.

The authors call on people and companies not to use recruitment firms that directly or indirectly condone the use of slavery as acceptable methods of employment. They emphasised the necessity of employing best practices for recruitment fees and practices and highlighted the clear violation of human rights for migrant workers in the workforce.  

The second phase of this research process will commence at a later date.

Lead author: Dr Jacqueline Parisi

Contributing researcher and authors: Emily Wakelin, Campbell Garrett, and Laura Turner