FTA and IOM Join Forces to Protect Migrant Worker Rights


FTA and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the annual FTA Conference, Unleash Opportunity, aimed at accelerating cooperation towards promoting ethical recruitment, protection of migrant workers and combatting human trafficking in global labour supply chains. This agreement will strengthen the efforts that FTA has already put forward towards developing a BSCI Module on Responsible Recruitment, which includes a set of guidelines on responsible recruitment practices and tailored training material.

“There is tremendous value in cooperation between business and other stakeholders to go beyond discussion to develop joint action. This partnership with the IOM will mobilise collective and strategic action to improve the protection of migrant workers in global supply chains. Despite all our best intentions business cannot tackle the challenges on their own”, said Christian Ewert, Director General of FTA.

This MOU will provide a long-term framework for further collaboration to protect migrant workers in supply chains in key sourcing countries for FTA members and include support such as:

  • Integrate the IOM’s International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) as a part of BSCI due diligence approach which helps employees assess their recruiters and enable transparency in the hiring process.
  • Develop and conduct training on trafficking and modern slavery issues as well as pre- and/or post-orientation training for labour migrants.
  • Provide members access to a large network of key stakeholders working on the protection of migrant workers and advocacy initiatives with governments.
  • Develop strategic projects in sourcing counties to address mutual priorities.

Both organisations began collaborating in 2016 on the issue of forced labour and migration in the food and fisheries supply chains in Thailand. Cooperation continued in the form of joint training sessions for FTA member companies on issues including labour rights, supply chain monitoring and responsible recruitment practices, and through strategic discussions with our members to address the issue of Syrian workers in Turkish supply chains.

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