ICCR and the Freedom Fund Host 1/17 Roundtable on Ethical Recruitment




Multi-stakeholder Roundtable

Emerging Best Practices in Implementing Ethical Recruitment Policies across Industries


In the second installation of our roundtable series for ICCR’s “No Fees Initiative,” on January 19th ICCR and the Freedom Fund convened a discussion with relevant stakeholders to explore key learnings from efforts to implement corporate ethical recruitment policies over the last three years, including actions needed to overcome practical challenges and obstacles many companies face.

Over 75 participants from leading companies from the automotive, food and beverage, apparel, electronics, hospitality, agriculture and retail sectors joined NGOs, international organizations, investors, field experts and government representatives to share their insights and experiences in an open dialogue with the objective of developing solutions that will accelerate the adoption of cross-sect

oral strategies for ethical recruitment.

ICCR’s ethical recruitment program--“No Fees” Initiative--launched in January of 2014 with the support of Humanity United seeks to engage and influence the behavior of a number of major brands, retailers and sector associations to create substantive policies and practices on ethical labor recruitment. The goal of this roundtable was to share emerging best practices on implementing ethical recruitment policies that engage and train suppliers to monitor their recruitment network and root out unethical recruiters. 

The Agenda for the day included both panel discussions and breakouts in small groups to trouble-shoot solutions around common challenges. ICCR shared a draft of its soon-to-be-published Emerging Best Practice Guidance on Ethical Recruitment.

Said ICCR's David Schilling, 

“The Roundtable on Ethical Recruitment displayed why it is so critical to get all stakeholders in the room to listen, learn and act. We heard from representatives working to combat slavery on the ground to companies devising strategies to move their suppliers towards eliminating the payment of fees by workers; from government officials using policy to promote responsible recruitment to investors utilizing their leverage to urge companies to be transparent about the challenges and opportunities they face in changing a exploitive recruitment system.  The day’s gathering went well beyond education and awareness raising to accelerate trust and much needed action.”

Panel 1:   “Challenges and Opportunities from the Ground”


  • Mark Taylor, Director for Strategy and Global Partnerships, Project Issara, Thailand 
  • Charlie Fanning, Advocacy and Research Coordinator in the AFL-CIO International Department
  • Shawn MacDonald, CEO, Verite
  • Marie Apostol, Founder and CEO, The FAIR Hiring Initiative, Inc.(TFHI)

Moderator: Adam Kanzer, Director of Corporate Engagement and Public Policy, Domini Impact Investments  

Panel 2:  “Challenges and Opportunities for Industry”

  • Brent Wilton, director, Global Workplace Rights, Coca-Cola and Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment
  • Bob Mitchell, Vice President of Social and Environmental Responsibility, Electronic Industry  Citizenship Coalition
  • Ramona Moorhead, Corporate Programs Coordinator,  Social Accountability International
  • Desta Raines, External Engagement Manager, Supplier Responsibility, Apple

Moderator:  Kate Kennedy, Managing Director, North America, The Freedom Fund   

Panel 3:  “Challenges and Opportunities for Governments and International Institutions ”

  • Alix Nasri, ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative
  • Rachel Phillips Rigby, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Department of Labor
  • Amy O’Neill Richard, J/TIP Office, US Department of State

Moderator:  Lauren Compere, Managing Director, Boston Common Asset Management

Company presentations

Guiding questions:

Please share the steps you have taken to adopt and implement ethical recruitment policies. 

  1. What are the challenges you have experienced?  What has worked well?
  2. If not, what guidance, tools or support do you need to move this agenda forward?                                                                   

Questions for the groups (made up of representatives of different stakeholders) and conveners:

  1. What is the most significant challenge faced by workers being recruited and what are some effective solutions?
  1. What is the most significant challenge faced by companies and suppliers at different stages of the implementation process and what are some effective solutions?
  1. What is the most significant challenge faced by governments and international institutions and what are some effective solutions? What government policies need to be in place to achieve meaningful ethical recruitment?
  1. What is the most significant challenge faced by investors and what are some effective solutions?

Said ICCR's Valentina Gurney who leads the No Fees Initiative:

“Since the launch of ICCR’s No Fees Initiative, companies and investors have become increasingly aware of the sustained reputational and material risks caused by poorly managed international recruitment practices. There are very few opportunities for industry leaders and key stakeholders to come together and discuss this topic, learn from each other, address the challenges and develop next steps in an environment that engenders trust, collaboration and a commitment to problem-solve; this is what ICCR looks to create through our roundtable series. When we are able to supplement these authentic convenings with original research like the Emerging Best Practice Guidance on Ethical Recruitment to be published next month, we accelerate the progress we are able to make with companies and propel ethical recruitment from concept to best practice implementation. “ 

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