A vast private recruitment industry has emerged globally, driven by the exponential increase in migrant workers seeking temporary low-wage jobs abroad. Many workers encounter mistreatment which is traceable to systemic recruiter misconduct. The MWJI undertakes empirical research and provides thought leadership the responsibilities of states and business to protect the rights of migrant workers within recruitment and to ensure they can access remedies. Bassina has convened and addressed numerous regional and global forums on migrant worker recruitment in the Asia Pacific region, including one of the earliest regional forums on the issue, the Ingram Symposium on Governance of Migrant Worker Recruitment in the Asia Pacific.
In Governance of Migrant Worker Recruitment: A Rights-Based Framework for Countries of Origin, Bassina Farbenblum sets out a novel, rights-based governance framework to address systemic recruiter misconduct, based on empirical studies conducted across Asia. The paper builds on work Bassina has undertaken in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and civil society organisations over several years to improve governance of recruitment in the country from the village to the national level, as well as advisory work with governments, civil society organisations and UN bodies in the region.
The UNSW Human Rights Clinic which Bassina directs is currently developing the first Guide to International Obligations Concerning Migrant Workers for countries of origin, which will be released in late 2017.
In The Business of Migrant Worker Recruitment: Who has the Responsibility and Leverage to Protect Rights?, Bassina and Justine Nolan identify the unique forms of leverage that state, business, and civil society actors can exert to establish 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.