Regional Program Manager - Ethical Labour Recruitment


Organization Name: Issara Institute
Location: Thailand
Apply email: Not Specified
Start Date: 10-June-2019
Closing Date: 06-July-2019


Globally, there have been many significant developments in the past year that have helped to galvanize corporate commitment to ensuring ethical labour recruitment across their entire supply chains, where migrant workers are not made to pay the costs of recruitment and migration (and often get indebted in the process), and are provided with safe and decent jobs with transparent terms and contracts. Ethical recruitment has the potential to eliminate some of the greatest risks to migrant workers before they leave their home country, given the relationship between upstream debt and controls over workers at destination.

The Program Manager will provide technical and strategic support to Issara’s Ethical Recruitment program, and coordinate with teams to mainstream Ethical Recruitment approaches. The Program Manager will have a unique opportunity to work with global brands, civil society and workers in supply chains across numerous industries (such as seafood, garments, agriculture and electronics). This position is an unprecedented opportunity for a candidate who is deeply analytical, organized and passionate to truly operate at the nexus of public and private sector and drive meaningful, tangible impact on the ground as well as in the board room. The individual must have a background working with private sector actors, be extremely organized and analytical, and be able to work across teams and approaches for coordination and mainstreaming of approaches.


The Issara Institute is an independent non-profit organization based in Thailand, Myanmar, and the United States tackling issues of human trafficking and forced labour in global supply chains through data, technology, partnership, and innovation. The Institute was established in 2014 by a team of anti-trafficking experts coming out of the United Nations who created an alliance of private sector, civil society, and government partners committed to addressing labour issues in global supply chains with practical, measurable, and scalable results. It is staffed by leading regional and international experts in labour rights, business consulting, and ethical sourcing, with additional technical advisors in the US and UK supporting the Institute’s work on an ongoing basis.

Issara Institute programming runs 3 inter-linked components:

Business and Human Rights, including engagement of global brand, retailer, and importer partners in a collaborative approach to identifying and addressing risks of trafficking and other labour abuses in their Asian supply chains – through real-time supply chain monitoring (Issara Inclusive Labour Monitoring), factory/workplace assessments, and collaborative improvement solutions that build more ethical supplier businesses and industries.

Issara Labs [Intelligence and Innovation], includes research, technology, and worker voice tools and channels (the Issara multi-lingual hotline, Golden Dreams Android smartphone app, and social media) to better understand labour conditions in supply chains. People – including worker voice and feedback – are at the center of Issara’s data and intelligence work, and we conduct a wide range of research, analytics, and technology development related to human trafficking and global supply chains – the people, the policies, the impact, and how to eliminate it.

Outreach and Empowerment – ‘Freedom of Choice’ is Issara’s philosophy for supporting victims of labour exploitation, whether support is provided directly by Issara or referral partners. The objective is to empower victims with the widest range of options, information, and resources for them to make their own informed choices about their recovery and their futures. Outreach with migrant worker communities ensures that workers of all types have access to information about their rights under the law, and how to get assistance if they need it.


• The Program Manager, Ethical Labour Recruitment, will play an integral role in the development of more ethical labour recruitment practices within the supply chains of Issara Strategic Business Partners. Through this work in Issara’s Ethical Recruitment Program, the they will have a rare opportunity to work with leading businesses and recruitment agencies in Thailand and across the region, helping them to strengthen their ethical recruitment at their workplace and business practices. The position will report Regional Director, and work closely with other teams across all offices (that is, across source and destination countries) – specifically,

• The Business and Human Rights teams in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia which work with employers and recruitment agencies in Thailand and across the region;

• The Outreach & Empowerment teams in Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, which liaise with jobseekers and CSOs prior to migration, as well as with migrant workers in workplaces and destination-side communities; and,

• The Issara Labs/Intelligence and Innovation team, with team members in Asia and the US, which provide support on data systems, ongoing reporting, and program analytics, and technology product development (worker voice-related apps and software).

• Specific aspects of the scope of work of the Program Manager, Ethical Labour Recruitment, include:

• Play a key role in the coordination and facilitation of relationships and activities with Thai supplier businesses and recruitment agencies, including meeting logistics, facilitation, technical assistance with improvement plans, training, and communication of labour monitoring results. This includes both on-shore and fishing industry work.

• Build and maintain relationships with relevant industry associations and other industry bodies, across a range of industries including garments, electronics, agriculture, and seafood/fishing, dovetailing Issara’s Ethical Recruitment program work with responsible recruitment-related industry initiatives.

• Develop and run trainings related to labour recruitment and management with management and human resource departments (HR) of businesses and recruitment agencies, within Issara’s Strategic Partner Supply chains and other stakeholders.

• Document all key developments and findings into Issara’s data systems in a complete and timely manner.

• Ensure that information on labour recruitment practices from businesses and developments reported by workers are efficiently shared and exchanged between teams for timely follow-up and action.

• Support the Outreach & Empowerment, Issara Labs, and Business & Human Rights team in their supply chain reporting to Strategic Partners.

• Coordinate and manage the logistics of field visits with Thai-speaking business partners, taking the lead on scheduling meetings and coordinating follow-up.

• Support the creation of materials for local business partners.


• We have a lean, dynamic, seasoned team that is committed to change, innovation, and impact. We are conscientious, we hold a high standard of care for our beneficiaries, and understand that we have to be able to work effectively with partners spanning the largest multinational corporations to the smallest grassroots CBOs. Our work ecosystem is multi-cultural, respectful, and energetic, whether we are working on tasks in teams, or working alone. We aim to ensure that there are many opportunities for sharing, learning, and growth on our team, and are looking for individuals who would flourish in our unique environment.

• The Program Manager, Ethical Labour Recruitment, should have:

• Bachelor’s degree plus at least seven years work experience, or Master’s (or equivalent professional) degree plus at least four years work experience. Education must be in a relevant discipline such as business administration, public administration, international development, social sciences, human rights or other relevant professional field.

• Of the experience outlined above, a minimum 3 years’ experience working with industries and businesses on human resources, sourcing and production, or social issues is strongly preferred, in either the private sector or international organisations (IO or NGO). Experience with both is desirable.

• Desirable skills and experience include business consulting; business and human rights; supply chain and ethical sourcing; sustainability; CSR; and human resources and worker rights. Experience in and familiarity with private sector development and market systems is highly desirable, as well as current developments in ethical labour recruitment.

• Experience in working and negotiating with private sector partners toward development objectives. Strong representational and negotiation skills required.

• Willingness and ability to travel to various workplaces within Thailand. The ability to work and engage with local businesses and residents confidently in locations like ports and piers is a necessity.

• Must be able to handle confidential data with discretion.

• Ability to work in a professional fast-paced, multicultural environment.

• Fluency in English required, Thai language fluency preferred, with excellent written and oral communication skills.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please send a CV, the names and contact details of three references, and a cover letter explaining your interest in the position and relevant expertise to Please note applications without a cover letter addressing motivation and skills for this specific position will not be considered.

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