Understanding the journey of a worker is as crucial as mapping out the locations where migrant workers are most vulnerable to conditions of forced labor. It is not uncommon to discover that many migrant workers have been exploited in their countries of origin before they even arrive at their workplace, particularly if their journeys are geographically complex and involve multiple transit countries. For example, a migrant worker can be hired directly through a recruitment agent or sub-agent based in their home country or via a recruitment agency in the destination country. However, there are times when a worker is hired through indirect channels where many intermediaries are involved and form only small parts of longer labor supply chains stretching from the migrant worker’s home village, transit stops and finally the country of destination. At each stage of the process, the migrant worker is at risk of paying various charges and fees and may be subject to an intricate network of intermediaries, such that it becomes complicated to trace and hold their perpetrators accountable.
The RLI supports its members in understanding workers’ journeys by maintaining a Labor Migration Corridor Database that is updated periodically. This database is a useful resource to help members and their supply chains understand and estimate recruitment fees and costs that different groups of migrant workers are likely to pay. This information can then be contrasted with feedback from workers during on-site assessments via worker surveys or the helpline at later stages.