What is the Fair Labour Alliance?

The FLA is a non-profit organisation supported by Humanity United, DFID, FSI Worldwide and VHR Recruitment. It is a program for implementing practical ethical recruitment protocols.


The FLA provides a shared space for companies interested in ethical recruitment practices to learn from industry experts in a positive forum.


A job is often the best way out of poverty, and globalisation has brought some significant benefits to many in the global south. However, migrant worker recruitment is all too often characterised by illegal and unethical exploitation.


That exploitation results in a downward spiral of debt, demotivation and despair. A worker often untrained for their job, disinterested in quality or productivity outcomes and simply ‘going through the motions’ until they can return home with their debt paid.


It doesn't have to be like this. An ethical recruitment model is good for both workers and companies. A worker not subject to illegal debt bondage is likely to be healthier, happier and more productive. If they are in a ‘client facing’ role, they will be an ambassador for the company. They will be able to return more money to family members at home and better able to contribute the wellbeing of their towns and villages.


While forced and bonded labour practices are illegal almost everywhere, there are an estimated 24.9 million people living and working in such conditions today[i].

The vast majority of companies do not want to be associated with these practices. They want to be proud of their operations and to avoid the devastating consequences that come with public accusations of human rights abuse.


Core principles of the FLA and its members include:

  • Fair recruitment and management. Workers are not charged recruitment fees, have their passports or identity documents retained, or have their wages withheld at any time.

  • Contracts are transparent. Terms of employment should always be clear from the beginning, with no hidden costs or terms for workers.

  • Working and living conditions are safe and decent. Migrant workers are provided with acceptable facilities for both working and living.

[i] International Labour Organization, https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/forced-labour/lang--en/index.htm

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