The Teachers’ Code for Ethical International Recruitment and Employment Practices was developed by a committee representing stakeholders from across the education sector to ensure fair treatment of migrant teachers and to ensure that students have well-qualified educators in their classrooms.   The Code is immigration neutral but provides guidelines to ensure that any recruitment that does happen is conducted in a fair and ethical manner. Fundamental to that effort is a clear delineation of recruitment focused on cultural exchange under the J-1 program versus that focused on addressing teacher shortages under the H1-B program.  

The Alliance launched the Teachers’ Code at the National Press Club on Thursday, June 4, 2015. View a video of the launch event below.

As of 2019, the Teachers’ Code is not actively being promoted by the Alliance. However, the guidelines still represent common ground between stakeholders with different perspectives that can be applied to ensure teacher recruitment is fair and ethical. If you have any questions about the Teachers’ Code or issues around teacher migration? Contact Mukul Bakhshi, Director of CGFNS Alliance.  

How was the Code developed?

In 2009, The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) published a landmark study, “Importing Educators: Causes and Consequences of International Teacher Recruitment,” that revealed a pattern of problems for migrant teachers. Extreme cases involved extortion, abuse, and fraud. Many other teachers dealt with bureaucratic problems, visa or job uncertainty, and culture shock—all of which can be mitigated by better planning, transparency, and support.

With funding from the MacArthur Foundation, a Task Force on the Ethical International Recruitment and Employment of Teachers was established. Members of the Task Force included teacher unions, recruiters, international teachers, and employers. A series of Task Force meetings—where stakeholders discussed their pain points and needs—led to the development of The Teachers’ Code of Ethical International Recruitment and Employment Practices.