Support the Government and PrEAs in Ethiopia to establish fair recruitment practices for overseas worker placement

Strengthening the capacity of Ethiopian Overseas Private Employment Agencies (PrEAs).

The ILO projects, JLMP-ACTION and BRMM, in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Skills and the Ethiopian Overseas Private Employment Agencies Federation (EOPEAF), conducted a two-day workshop, from 30 – 31 January 2023 in Adama, Ethiopia.

This technical workshop is a continuation of ILO's support to the establishment of fair recruitment processes in Ethiopia, particularly the activities of the overseas private employment agencies to build their capacity and operational set up to conduct their business in line with Proclamation 923/2016 and its Amendment 1246/2021, as well as other relevant national legislation, ILO Private Employment Agencies Convention 1997 (No. 181) and the ILO General principles and operational guidelines on fair recruitment, and definition of recruitment fees and related costs.

The workshop was attended by a total of 48 participants (12 Female and 36 Male) from the ‎Private Employment Agencies, Overseas Employment Department of the Ministry of Labour and ‎Skills, labour inspectorates, labour officers, Employers’ organization, Workers’ Organization, ‎and social partners.‎

Ms. Emeye Bitew, MoLS, Overseas Employment Chief Executive Officer stressed the government’s attempt to reform policies by making labour migration fair and ‎effective for all actors. She also emphasized that overseas recruitment should not be confined to ‎the capital city of Addis Ababa but should be available in all regional locations to make the ‎process easier and more accessible to local communities, highlighting ‎that all parties must work together to preserve and safeguard migrant workers' rights and dignity.‎

The technical workshop created a platform for Private Employment Agencies (PrEAs) and government stakeholders to identify their challenges for fair recruitment practices and design a strategy to work together. The workshop also built the capacity of members of Private Employment Agencies, labour officers and labour inspectors on fair recruitment practices, the Ethiopian Overseas Employment Proclamation, and the Private Employment Agencies code of conduct, self-assessment tool and business model.

The two-day session included technical and thematic presentations and group work, covering the following key areas:
  • The essence of the Overseas Employment Proclamation 923/2016 and Amendment 1246/2021 as well as the Code of Conduct.
  • The roll-out of the ITUC Migrant Recruitment Adviser (MRA) in Ethiopia.
  • The experience on of a sustainable and fair recruitment agency in the Philippines - the case of Staff House International.
  • The ILO definition of recruitment fees and related costs. 
  • The key challenges for fair recruitment and practical ways to develop cooperation between PrEAs and the Overseas Employment Department of MoLS, and the opportunity to develop typical Business Model for sustainable ecosystem.


  • Improved understanding of the ILO definition of recruitment fees and related cost, ILS, General principles on Fair recruitment, the code of conduct, the Ethiopian 923/2016 and 1246/2021 amendment proclamation
  • Strengthened understanding of practical models and best practices on ethical recruitment from Philippines.
  • Secured commitment to develop a sustainable business model for Ethiopian private employment agencies.
  • Resolve to improve communication and collaboration between PrEAs and government (Ministry of Labour & Skills)
  • Clarification on no recruitment costs for facilitation migration of low skilled workers (except for passport documentation and medical expenses)
  • Emphasis on importance of pre-departure briefing particularly for first time workers.

Target / audience:

Representatives from the Federation of Ethiopian Private Overseas Employment Agencies; labour officers and labour inspectorates from the Overseas Employment Department of the Ministry of Labour and Skills; Workers’ Organization; Employers’ Organization

Next steps:

  • Engaging an expert to develop a sustainable business model for PrEAs in Ethiopia