R61 Recommendation concerning the Recruitment, Placing and Conditions of Labour of Migrants for Employment

Geneva, 28 giugno 1939

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Twenty-fifth Session on 8 June 1939, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the recruiting, placing and conditions of labour (equality of treatment) of migrant workers, which is the third item on the agenda of the Session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-eighth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Migration for Employment Recommendation, 1939:

The Conference,

Having adopted the Migration for Employment Convention, 1939, and
Desiring to supplement its provisions by a Recommendation;
Recommends as follows:


(1) For the purpose of this Recommendation:
(a) the term recruitment means:
(i) the engagement of a person in one territory on behalf of an employer in another territory, or
(ii) the giving of an undertaking to a person in one territory to provide him with employment in another territory, together with the making of any arrangements in connection with the operations mentioned in (i) and (ii) including the seeking for and selection of would-be emigrants and the preparation for departure of the emigrants;
(b) the term introduction means any operations for ensuring or facilitating the arrival in or admission to a territory of persons who have been recruited within the meaning of (a);
(c) the term placing means any operations for the purpose of supplying an employer with the labour of persons who have been introduced within the meaning of (b).
(2) This Recommendation does not apply to:
(a) migration within the territory of a Member or from one territory of a Member to another territory of the same Member;
(b) frontier workers whose place of employment is in the territory of one State and whose place of residence is in the territory of another State;
(c) seamen;
(d) indigenous workers as defined in Article 2 (b) of the Recruiting of Indigenous Workers Convention, 1936.


2. The service provided in each country to supply information and give assistance to migrants should have the following duties:
(a) to supply information to migrants and their families and advise them, in their languages or dialects or at least in a language which they can understand, on matters relating to emigration, immigration, employment and living conditions in the place of destination, return to the country of origin, and generally speaking on any other question which may be of interest to them in their capacity as migrants;
(b) to provide facilities for migrants and their families with regard to the fulfilment of administrative formalities and other steps to be taken in connection with their departure, journey, admission into the country of destination, residence there and, should the case arise, return to the country of origin.
3. There should, whenever possible, be a reasonable interval between the publication and coming into force of any modification of the conditions on which emigration or immigration or the employment of foreigners is permitted in order that these conditions may be notified in good time to persons who are preparing to emigrate.
4. Provision should be made for the display at the places of departure, transit and arrival, of the texts of the principal measures referred to in the preceding Paragraph or of notices relating thereto in the languages most commonly known to the migrants.


(1) With a view to safeguarding the interests of migrants for employment and ensuring the equilibrium of the employment market, the competent authorities of the country of emigration and the country of immigration should, when the volume of migration justifies it, require applications for the recruitment and introduction of migrants for employment to be submitted in advance for examination and endorsement.
(2) Before authorising the introduction of migrants for employment the country of immigration should ascertain whether there is not a sufficient number of capable persons already available to do the work in question.
(1) The conditions under which authorisations for the recruitment, introduction or placing of migrants for employment are granted and maintained in force should be determined either by national laws or regulations or by agreement between the country of emigration and the country of immigration.
(2) The persons to whom or bodies to which authorisations are granted should furnish guarantees, which might take the form of a deposit, for the payment of compensation in respect of any damage suffered by a migrant for employment through the fault of the said persons or bodies.
(1) Any intermediary who undertakes the recruitment, introduction or placing of migrants for employment on behalf of an employer should be required to obtain a written warrant from the employer or some other document proving that he is acting on the employer's behalf.
(2) This document should be drawn up in, or translated into, the official language of the country of emigration, and should set forth all necessary particulars concerning the employer, concerning the nature and scope of the recruitment, introduction or placing which the intermediary is to undertake, and concerning the employment offered, including the remuneration offered.
(1) It is desirable that in each country where migrants for employment are recruited, introduced or placed, the competent authorities should fix maximum scales for the expenditure that may be charged to the migrant or to his employer in respect of recruitment, introduction (including maintenance during the journey), placing, repatriation or any other operations connected therewith.
(2) The expenditure mentioned in the preceding subparagraph should not, as a rule, be borne by the migrant and in all cases any deductions from remuneration which the employer may make for this purpose should be limited by national laws or regulations or by agreement between the country of emigration and the country of immigration.
(1) Intending migrants for employment should, as far as possible, be examined before their departure from the country of emigration by a representative of the country of immigration responsible for satisfying himself that they are eligible for admission into that country.
(2) If recruitment takes place on a sufficiently large scale to be considered as collective recruitment under the law or regulations of the country of emigration, an expert official of that country should be present.
(3) It is desirable that the examinations and the recruitment referred to in the preceding subparagraphs of this Paragraph should, as far as possible, be carried out in the neighbourhood of the intending migrant's home.
(1) The members of the family of a migrant for employment who desire to accompany or join him should receive special facilities for this purpose, more particularly:
(a) priority over other applications for permission to leave the country of emigration and to enter and reside in the country of immigration;
(b) a simplification of the administrative formalities and a reduction in the payments required either for leaving the country of emigration or for entering and residing in the country of immigration.
(2) For the purpose of this Paragraph the members of the family of a migrant for employment should be deemed to consist of his wife and minor children and of other members of his family dependent upon him.


11. Equality of treatment for nationals and foreigners, as laid down in Article 6 of the Migration for Employment Convention, 1939, should be applied as far as possible to all foreigners.
(1) Foreigners authorised to reside in a territory with a view to employment, and the members of their families authorised to accompany or join them, should as far as possible be admitted to employment in the same conditions as nationals.
(2) In countries in which the employment of foreigners authorised to be employed there is subject to restrictions, these restrictions should as far as possible:
(a) cease to be applied to such persons who have regularly resided in the country for a period, the length of which should not, as a rule, exceed five years; and
(b) be waived, without any condition as to length of residence, in favour of the wife and children of an age to work who have been authorised to accompany or join the migrant.
13. It is desirable that Members which have not ratified the international labour Conventions relating to social insurance should grant to foreign employed persons and their survivors the treatment defined in the said Conventions.
(1) It is desirable that, in countries where the number of immigrants for employment is sufficiently large, the conditions of employment of such immigrants should be specially supervised, such supervision being undertaken according to circumstances either by a special inspection service or by labour inspectors or other officials specialising in this work.
(2) The administrative services entrusted with the supervision referred to in the preceding subparagraph should co-operate as far as possible with voluntary organisations for the assistance of migrants which have been approved by the authorities.


(1) When a foreign employed person has been regularly admitted to the territory of a State the said State should, as far as possible, refrain from removing such person or the members of his family from its territory on account of his lack of means or the state of the employment market, unless an agreement to this effect has been concluded between this country and the country of origin.
(2) A State which feels obliged to remove from its territory, for the reasons indicated in the previous subparagraph, foreign employed persons who have been regularly admitted or members of the families of such persons, should at all events:
(a) take into account the length of time the said persons have been in its territory and in no case remove persons who have been there for more than five years;
(b) satisfy itself that the person concerned has exhausted his rights to unemployment insurance benefit;
(c) satisfy itself that the person concerned has been given reasonable notice so as to give him time, more particularly, to dispose of his property; that suitable arrangements have been made for his transport and that of the members of his family; and that the necessary arrangements have been made to ensure that he and the members of his family are treated in a humane manner;
(d) satisfy itself that the costs of the return of the employed person and the members of his family and of the transport of their household belongings to their final destination shall not fall on him.
16. When migrants for employment or members of their families who have retained the nationality of their State of origin return there, that country should admit such persons to the benefit of any measures in force for the granting of poor relief and unemployment relief, and for promoting the re-employment of the unemployed, by exempting them from the obligation to comply with any condition as to previous residence or employment in the country or place.

Fonte: ILO