Health workforce

Managing health workforce migration - The Global Code of Practice

Health worker migration has been increasing worldwide over the past decades, especially from lower income countries with already fragile health systems. To address this challenge, the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel was adopted by the 63rd World Health Assembly on 21 May 2010. This groundbreaking instrument marks the first time that WHO Member States have used the constitutional authority of the Organization to develop a code in thirty years.

WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel

The Code aims to establish and promote voluntary principles and practices for the ethical international recruitment of health personnel and to facilitate the strengthening of health systems. Member States should discourage active recruitment of health personnel from developing countries facing critical shortages of health workers. The Code was designed by Member States to serve as a continuous and dynamic framework for global dialogue and cooperation.

User's guide

This User’s Guide aims to provide a concise overview of the Code and to help readers understand its content. It explains the context in which it has been developed and teases out its main messages. It targets all stakeholders concerned with or interested in the international recruitment of health personnel.

The National Reporting Instrument


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Public hearing on the draft guidelines for monitoring the implementation of the WHO Code

About the WHO Code