Philippines, Canada Start New Partnership on Ethical Labour Recruitment

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the ethical recruitment of Filipino workers between the Philippines and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The agreement will involve pilot testing the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS).

The agreement was signed last Friday (8/6) by IOM, the Ministry of Service of Alberta, the Ministry of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety of Saskatchewan and the Department of Labor and Employment of the Republic of the Philippines.

Currently, there are about 150 million migrant workers globally. The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) estimates that there are over 700,000 permanent and temporary Filipinos currently living in Canada.

“While most migrant workers have positive migration experiences, we recognize that more can be done to make international recruitment fairer for all involved,”   said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “This includes shifting the cost of recruitment from the worker to the employer, promoting better job matching and ensuring greater transparency within the recruitment process. IOM is very pleased to be working with the governments of the Philippines, Alberta and Saskatchewan on this important initiative.”

“Saskatchewan is pleased to be part of this ground-breaking initiative in ethical foreign worker recruitment,” said Don Morgan, Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety in Saskatchewan. “Our hope is that the introduction of IRIS sets a new international standard for the fair treatment of foreign workers.”

IRIS is a social compliance scheme that is designed to promote ethical international recruitment. IRIS defines and sets a benchmark for ethical recruitment (the ‘IRIS Standard’) and establishes a voluntary certification process for international labour recruiters that demonstrate good practice. IRIS has been developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society. It is designed to help jobseekers and employers identify, and benefit from, the services of ethical labour recruiters. 

For more information, please contact

IOM HQ, Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41227179366, Email:

Government of Saskatchewan, Jen Toews, Tel: 306-787-1331, Email: