ILO-DFID Partnership Programme on Fair Recruitment and Decent Work for Women Migrant Workers in South Asia and the Middle East "Work in Freedom"

The Work in Freedom is an integrated programme to support mobility by choice among women and girls from destination countries (India, Bangladesh and Nepal) to decent jobs with safety and dignity of workers in destination countries (India, Lebanon and Jordan) through fair recruitment processes.


For millions of poor people in South Asia, migration is an important alternative to the realities of home. People move long distances in pursuit of jobs for a plethora of reasons ranging from economic aspirations to the loss of habitat, processes of economic transformation and conflict. While some migrate internally, many also migrate abroad. For women and girls, especially those from indigenous communities, the experience of impoverishment and discrimination presents migration as a viable option. While some succeed in migrating, many, especially those with heightened vulnerabilities as a result of the status quo they seek to escape, are victims of exploitation in the recruitment process as well as by employers in destination countries- practices that may amount to forced labour.

Work in Freedom supports targeted education, awareness, organizing and policy intervention to reduce vulnerability among women and girls while migrating and promote empowerment at source and destination.

Project Strategy

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of labour supply chains in migration. Work in Freedom supports strategic intervention across the supply chain to-
  • Develop a body of work that supports sustainable development policy in source countries to promote mobility by choice
  • Promote education, skills training and organizing that promote awareness of the recruitment process and rights at work thus reducing vulnerability to trafficking and forced labour
  • Engage with employers’ and policy makers to improve recruitment practices and support safety and dignity of workers during migration and in destination countries

Geographic Coverage

The project is implemented in source and destination areas in the following countries -
  • Bangladesh
  • Nepal
  • India
  • Jordan
  •  Lebanon

Key Partners

  • Government of Bangladesh
  • Government of India
  • Government of Nepal
  • Government of Jordan
  • Government of Lebanon
  • International workers’ and employers’ organizations
  • Trade unions and civil society organizations in Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Lebanon and Nepal
  • Employers’ organisations in India, Jordan, Lebanon
  • Recruitment agencies in Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Lebanon and Nepal

For further information please contact

Mr. Igor Bosc, Email
Chief Technical Advisor
ILO, DWT- South Asia/ CO- India