South Africa


Closing date



I. Background

The ILO – IOM – UNODC – UNHCR Southern Africa Migration Management:

The Southern Africa Migration Management (SAMM) project is a four-year European Union-funded project being implemented by four United Nations agencies – International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in coordination with SADC member states, relevant Regional Economic Communities (RECs) relevant stakeholders and development partners to improve migration management in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region. The SAMM project collaborates with the following Regional Economic Communities (RECs): Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and; the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC); with particular focus on the following SADC countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The proposed interventions under the SAMM project foresee a series of coordinated and simultaneous interventions implemented across two main thematic domains: labour migration and mixed migration flows. The labour migration domain addresses the critical needs of strengthening the labour migration governance and approaches in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region focusing on (i) the establishment and promotion of rights-based legal and efficient channels of labour migration and mobility including appropriate protection measures for migrants’ workers; and (ii) establishment and operationalization of a Southern African and Indian Ocean migration observatory. The mixed migration component of the SAMM project covers key technical and operational areas that relate to the formulation and implementation of evidence-based management strategies and policies to address mixed migration challenges, including assurance of appropriate protection frameworks for vulnerable migrants in Southern African and Indian Ocean region.

II. Context of the Consultancy

IOM and its partner implementing organizations under the SAMM project seek to promote fair and ethical recruitment and protection of migrant workers in Southern Africa and IOC region. The organizations are therefore committed to supporting governments to develop and strengthen effective mechanisms and tools that prevent and address exploitation by unscrupulous labour recruiters. This commitment is outlined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration through its Objective 6: “Facilitate fair and ethical recruitment and safeguard conditions that ensure decent work”. In addition, these commitments have been enshrined in international standards such as Convention No 181 on Private Employment Agencies,[1] ILO Convention No 29 and global guidance such as the ILO’s 2016 General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment (GPOGs) and 2018 Definition of Recruitment Fees and Related Costs, and global policy discussions such as the IOM’s Montreal Recommendations on Recruitment: A Road Map towards Better Regulation to ensure that recruiters and employers comply with the same international standards and that exploitative recruiters are not able to profit from undercutting compliant agencies.

IOM’s flagship initiative to promote ethical recruitment is the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS). IRIS is a global multi-stakeholder initiative that support governments, civil society, the private sector and recruiters to establish ethical recruitment as the norm in cross-border labour migration with the goal of making international recruitment fair for migrants, workers, employers, recruiters and countries of origin and destination. In 2014, a global ‘Fair Recruitment Initiative’ was launched to help prevent human trafficking and forced labour; protect the rights of workers, including migrant workers, from abusive and fraudulent practices during the recruitment process. Furthermore, the Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (also known as the Palermo Protocol) specifically address the issue of labour exploitation and Trafficking in Persons[2].

The relative importance of intra-regional migration in the Southern African has gained grounds within high-level policy discourse in recent times. The significant surge in the number of migrant workers, both skilled and unskilled in the formal and informal parts of the economy; private and government sectors within the region has remained one of the key policies concerns due to the unscrupulous activities of recruiters, increasing rates of labour exploitation and limited assistance framework to ensure the protection of the rights of migrant workers. Labour migration in the region is facilitated by highly organized recruitment systems established by private sector operators and often supported by governments through bilateral labour agreements.

Significant efforts have made by the SADC Member States in the ratification of Convention 189, the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) and the Palermo Protocol as well as the institutionalization of regional and national legislations to enhance the protection of migrant workers. Despite these efforts, significant gaps still exist. Migrant workers are often exploited during the recruitment and deployment phases of the migration cycle by unscrupulous labour brokers or recruiters that charge excessive fees, provide misleading information about the job offer and exploit aspirant migrant workers through false promises and coercion. Majority of cases of forced labour in the region today occurs in the “private economy” and in productive and extractive activities such as agriculture, domestic work, mining, construction, fisheries, manufacturing, and the remainder involves commercial sexual exploitation. These sectors are mostly characterized by informality, are less covered by bilateral agreements with increased cases of illegal recruitment practices and migrant workers working under exploitative working conditions. While labour mobility brings benefits to many workers and the economies to which they contribute, it is also an important risk factor in forced labour and exploitation, particularly when recruitment process is combined with other forms of abuse such as false promises about the terms and conditions of employment, limitations on freedom of movement and coercion or lack of access to remedy.

III. Objective

The main objective of the baseline assessment is to ascertain and analyze the situation and specific indicators of forced labour and unfair/unethical/ recruitment practices that appear to be most relevant in Southern Africa and IOC region, particularly in main migration corridors. The assessment will focus on understanding the sectoral context, prevalence and dynamics of forced labour and unfair/unethical recruitment processes in the region. The baseline assessment will also cover the targeted actions by the RECs, Member States, Private Sector and other downstream actors such as recruitment agencies, CSOs and trade unions.

The baseline assessment will provide a regional baseline report containing country specific reports on situational analysis on forced labour, best practices and those that need a review to improve the ethical/fair recruitment procedures and practices, key policy gaps, action points, barriers to ethical/fair recruitment and migrant worker protection as well as key recommendations.

Specifically, the assessment seeks to:

a) Conduct a desk review in main migration corridors to determine the prevalence of risk factors of forced labour and trafficking of human being, and the specific industries and sectors particularly prone to labour exploitation and unfair or unethical recruitment practices. This includes the identification of groups of people who are more likely to be vulnerable to unfair recruitment practices and forced labour/trafficking as well as the more prominent features and manifestations of forced labour in the Southern Africa and IOC region.

b) Provide an analysis of the relevant legal and policy frameworks in Southern Africa and IOC region and the extent to which it aligns to international standards and guidelines on fair and ethical recruitment and to Forced Labour Conventions and the Forced Labour Protocol. Analyze the extent to which these translate in fair and ethical recruitment practices (e.g. assess effectiveness of implementation and enforcement) and identify key policy/legislative gaps and practices, particularly in terms of informal recruiters.

c) Identify existing national coordination mechanisms among stakeholders and institutions and analyze their adequacy to responding to the challenges of forced labour, trafficking and unfair recruitment in the context of adherence to international guidance and best practice, such as the ILOs General Principles and IOMs IRIS.

d) Examine and assess the capacity of RECs – Southern Africa and IOC region – and public and private employment/recruitment agencies to implement and manage ethical/fair recruitment strategies including an analysis of capacity building needs and priorities of the RECs and Member States in addressing the challenge of forced labour and human trafficking through fair and ethical recruitment processes.

e) Examine/assess the adequacy of legal protections and long-term social and economic support for victims of forced labour and human trafficking available in Southern Africa and IOC region and the targeted Member States to enable victims to access justice effectively, receive adequate compensation and recover from the material and psychological effects of their subjection to forced labour, prevent their re-victimization and encourage their willing participation in legal proceedings against their exploiters (e.g. through labour courts, etc.).

f) Analyze the extent to which gender considerations are incorporated into existing frameworks, mechanism and strategies to address forced labour and unethical/unfair recruitment practices in Southern Africa and IOC region and the targeted Member States.

g) Provide concrete recommendations and a road map towards strengthening the capacity of Southern African and IOC region as well as Member States and private sectors in addressing the challenges of forced labour and unethical labour recruitment practices.

This baseline assessment aligns with the output 2.2. of the SADC Labour Migration Action Plan (2020 – 2025), the decision of the SADC Employment and Labour Sector (ELS) to prioritize fair and ethical recruitment in the region and the five recommendations of the 2019 Migration Dialogue in Southern Africa held in Windhoek, Namibia urging Member States to strengthen the mechanisms to combat forced labour and instil fair and ethical recruitment practices throughout the labour recruitment processes in alignment with a whole of government and whole of society approach.

IV. Scope of the Assessment

The assessment will be conducted in consultation with the RECs covering all the 16 countries in Southern Africa and IOC region. The assessment will provide the basis for developing fair recruitment guidelines under the SAMM project and serves as the benchmarks against which any changes resulting from the project interventions and results will be developed and measured.

V. Assessment methodology



· Consultant(s) are expected to submit a proposed methodology with the proposal demonstrating their understanding of the topic and context in Southern Africa.

· The consultant(s) should ensure that the assessment methodology includes tools to capture data from relevant stakeholders and ensure alignment with the ILO’s forced labour indicator framework[3] and General Principles and Operational Guidelines for labour recruiters, IOM’s IRIS Standard [4] and UNODC Framework for Action on Trafficking in Persons[5].

· The design should reflect how the collection of information will take place and ensure that the assessment has the necessary scientific validity and rigour.


· The methodology for the assessment must be participatory and involve the stakeholders in the region.

· The assessment should apply specific gender analysis and ensure that the gender-specific needs are considered.

Feedback loop

· The design should produce recommendations that are operational and support the RECs and UN partners to tailor project activities.

Overall, the methodology for the assessment will be agreed upon by the consultant(s) in consultation with IOM and its implementing partners under the SAMM project. However, the design should employ a mixed method approach and include:

  • Desk review

  • Virtual/face to face consultations with stakeholders in Southern Africa and IOC region subject to lifting of ban of travels and public gatherings.

  • Key informant Interviews – virtual/face to face. The face-to-face meeting and gathering will depend on the lifting of COVID-19 imposed travel restrictions and physical gatherings.

The assessment must follow IOM’s Data Protection Principles, IOM Migration Data Governance Policy, UNEG’s norms and standards for evaluations, UNODC Guidelines on implementation of the Palermo Protocol and relevant ethical guidelines.**

VI. Timeline & Deliverables

The following provides an overview of the timeline and deliverables for the assessment.

*Preparation Phase (3 weeks): *During the Preparation Phase, the call for an expression of interest will be launched, and the consultant(s) selected: **

  • Launch call for proposals.**

  • Proposal review and selection **

  • Contracting of selected consultant(s)**

Inception Phase – 2 weeks: During this phase, the consultant(s) will gain a deeper understanding of the assessment expectations. This phase will include a joint Inception Meeting with the RECs where a joint review of the TOR will be conducted to: ensure that all parties are clear on roles, responsibilities, expectations, budget and timeline; provide the evaluator with relevant documents, information on IOM, ILO, UNODC and UNHCR, and contextual information on the project and project implementation etc.; and introduce the consultant(s) to the project teams. During this period, the consultant(s) will develop the Draft Inception Report which will provide a detailed description of their understanding of the TOR and how they will conduct the assessment. **

The Draft Inception Report will also specify: (a) the criteria being assessed by the assessment; (b) the questions and sub-questions that will be answered to assess each criterion; (c) the list of stakeholders to be interviewed during the assessment, (d) the indicators that will be measured during the assessment; (d) the sources of data; and (e) the data collection tools. **

Once the Draft Inception Report has been reviewed and revised (if necessary) and accepted by the RECs and the UN implementing partners, the data collection phase of the assessment can begin. Detailed fieldwork implementation plans will be developed by the consultant(s) during this phase and included as part of the Inception Report. **


  • Desk Review

  • Virtual/Face to face Inception Meeting in Pretoria

  • Draft Inception report

  • Final Inception Report **

Field Work Phase (8 weeks): The fieldwork will span approximately two months and will take place concurrently across the 16 countries. Consultant(s) are strongly encouraged to include a local consultant(s) and/or an academic institution/research institute as part of each country assessment team. In order to ensure that local and regional knowledge and expertise play a key role in the decision-making and implementation of the assessment; fieldwork will be conducted in partnership with the REC focal points and IOM, ILO, UNODC and UNHCR staff and include systematic consultations with IOM and ILO thematic specialists at key intervals. An exit debriefing PPT presentation of preliminary findings will be held upon completion of the fieldwork. **


  • Consultations with REC focal points and stakeholders in the REC Member States.**

  • Consultations with the SAMM project team from IOM, ILO, UNODC and UNHCR and relevant colleagues at the Regional Offices and Headquarters.

  • Debrief meeting (including PPT presentation) on preliminary findings.

Reporting Phase (2 weeks): The consultant(s) will analyze the data collected during the desk review and the fieldwork, conduct final consultations with stakeholders where required, and draft the final reports. The lead consultant is expected to draft ONE regional report and ONE page country briefs for review and feedback. The reports should follow a structure agreed upon with IOM and the implementing partners – ILO, UNDOC and UNHCR during the Inception phase and produced in English.


  • Draft and Final Baseline Regional analysis report (1 report and 1 page country briefs)

Follow-up & Dissemination Phase (2 weeks): The final regional baseline report will be shared with the RECs and the relevant stakeholders in the Member States. A regional presentation, provided by the Team Leader, will be held and it will cover the findings for each country assessment.


  • Virtual/One in-person regional debrief meetings (with PowerPoint presentations) by the Team Leader.

VII. Qualifications and Competences

i. Education: Advanced university degree in Social Sciences, Development Studies, Anthropology, or Demography.**

ii. Experience: A minimum of 10 years’ experience in migration management, labour migration issues, migrant workers protection issues, international development, development policy and/or research and analysis, preferably with a focus on migration or migration related subjects. Demonstrated knowledge of SADC labour migration dynamics and strategies, as well as familiarity with the institutional landscape and political economy in the SADC region;

iii. General skills: Demonstrated analytical skills and excellent communication and report writing skills; and

iv. Language: Written and spoken English. Knowledge of French and Portuguese is an advantage.

VIII. Renumeration and Payment Schedule

This assignment will be implemented over 14 weeks, at remuneration scales commensurate with demonstrated experience, education and skills levels. The fees will be paid in accordance with deliverables in the following proportions:

i. 20% upon submission and acceptance of Inception Report;

ii. 50% upon submission and acceptance of the final draft Report

iii. 30% upon validation and submission of final validated Report

IX. Management Arrangements and Conduct of Work

The IOM Regional Project Coordinator will be responsible for the overall execution of the consultancy, with technical support from IOM Thematic Specialist on Labour and Human Development based in Pretoria and IOM HQ colleagues in collaboration with the relevant colleagues from the UN implementing partners.

[1] Other relevant international labour standards include ILO Convention No 29 (Forced Labour Convention) and the 2014 Protocol to the Force Labour Convention, ILO Convention 189 (Domestic Workers Convention), ILO Convention 88 (Employment Service Convention), among others.

[2] The Pallermo Protocol is available on:




How to apply

I. Applications Specifications

Interested individual consultants are expected to submit the following:

· Technical proposal not more than 5 pages comprising conceptual framework, detailed methodology, workplan, letter of motivation describing the consultant or consultancy firms’ suitability for the assignment, curriculum vitae, example of similar works and three professional referees; and

· Financial quotation/proposal relating to this assignment in USD.

All applications clearly indicating the position title in the subject line must be submitted on or before Friday, 12 March 2021 via e-mail to Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.