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AIC - HEUNI Webinar "Responsible recruitment: How to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers at recruitment and placement" 23.04.2024

3.4.2024 | News item

The Australian Institute of Criminology will be hosting the webinar Responsible recruitment: How to prevent the exploitation of migrant workers at recruitment and placement on Tuesday 23 April 2024. This is the first of a series of webinars throughout 2024 on human trafficking and modern slavery being co-hosted with the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI) in Finland.

Scale of justice on the banner for an event

This webinar presents what exploitation of (migrant) workers looks like in the two countries and how responsible recruitment is currently being supported and implemented. The speakers will highlight differences and similarities between the two countries and share promising responses to tackle exploitation and modern slavery. Speakers include prominent experts from both countries, and the presentations will provide concrete examples and solutions.

Register here 


Saara Haapasaari, HEUNI’s sustainability specialist, and responsible for HEUNI’s work on corporate responsibility.

Pia Marttila, the coordinating senior advisor at Victim Support Finland, the main NGO providing specialized support for victims of labour exploitation in Finland. Pia talks about exploitation in the Finnish agricultural sector and about their helpline for seasonal workers.

Santeri Ojala, manager of international operations of Work in Finland at Business Finland. Work in Finland is a public initiative aiming to attract more international talent to Finland. Santeri is in charge of developing talent attraction in source countries (incl. India, Vietnam, Brazil, the Philippines), including measures related to responsible recruitment. He also represents Work in Finland in the Finnish government’s multi-stakeholder advisory board on action against labour exploitation.

Mark Zirnsak, Senior Social Justice Advocate, Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania’s Justice and International Mission.





Finland, with a population of 5.5 million, has an aging population and a widely discussed need for increased labour migration. The labour shortage can be seen especially in low-skilled sectors as well as in health and social services. EU citizens can work in Finland without any specific permits, but people coming outside the EU need to apply for a residence permit for work. In 2023, 16 999 first time applications of residence permit for work were submitted (record in 2022: 20 960). In 2023, the most applications came from citizens of the Philippines, Russia, India and China.In 2023, the Finnish Government started a program to attract labour especially from the Philippines, India, Vietnam and Brazil.

At the same time, in recent years, several cases of problems related to the recruitment of migrant workers have been uncovered in Finland. Many workers have paid excessive fees to secure placement in Finland and have also experienced exploitation once employed. The prevention of labour exploitation is a priority in Finland, and in recent years several new developments have taken place. There are ongoing efforts to strengthen ethical recruitment and to address (illegitimate/fraudulent/excessive) recruitment fees and subsequent indebtedness of workers. Together with government actors and labour market organizations in Finland, HEUNI has recently developed a set of sector-specific guidelines for responsible recruitment (see concrete guidelines for farmers and recommendations for employers in the healthcare sector.

Event Human trafficking Labour exploitation Victim assistance Victims of crime