German Government and IOM partnership to strengthen business capacity on labour migration and responsible business conduct in Viet Nam

Date: Mar 30, 2021
Location(s): Ho Chi Minh City

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – On March 30th 2021, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ho Chi Minh City and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Viet Nam signed an agreement to implement a new project in Viet Nam “Enhancing Business Capacity to Address Forced Labour and Human Trafficking Risks in International Supply Chains”. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of businesses to respect, promote and remedy human and labour rights of men and women workers, including migrant workers, in international supply chains. 

Integration in international supply chains has brought opportunities for businesses to increase market access, expand operations, create more added value and improve competitive advantage. Alongside these opportunities, however, come increased responsibilities. New regulatory frameworks on conducting business ethically, as well as procurement and contracting requirements of trade and investment agreements have all strengthened social compliance requirements for Vietnamese companies looking to enter global markets.

In this context, it is crucial that businesses understand international standards on business and human rights, how different groups of workers might be vulnerable, how to identify forced labour and human trafficking risks and develop solutions to address these. This becomes particularly important, as the world entered the second year of global COVID-19 pandemic. Building resilience in operations and supply chains through responsible business practices, ongoing due diligence and responsive business continuity plans could help companies “build back better” and reduce costly disruptions. 
To this end, in consultation with relevant governmental, non-governmental and private sector stakeholders, IOM will pilot an online training programme on responsible business conduct, focusing on prevention of forced labour and human trafficking risks in operations and supply chains through increased understanding of vulnerabilities of workers, including migrant workers. Upon pilot-testing, the online training programme will become an open source accessible by all stakeholders interested to learn and improve their management systems.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ms. Mihyung Park, Chief of Mission, IOM Viet Nam emphasized, “In today's ever more integrated economy with conscious consumers, it is now a necessity that businesses uphold the rights of their workers, in their own operations and in the wider supply chains. It is in the interests of businesses to provide decent working conditions and uphold human and labour rights of men and women workers, including migrant workers. In return, responsible business will have opportunities to secure customer relationships, access to capital, increased workforce productivity, lower turnover rates and reduced risks of reputational, financial and legal damages. IOM is happy to start this new partnership and will continue to build its local, regional and global efforts to ensure rights of all workers, migrant workers in particular, in international supply chains.

Dr. Josefine Wallat, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ho Chi Minh City shared: “Today’s consumers want to be certain that the products they purchase have been manufactured according to the highest environmental and ethical standards. The German General Consulate in HCMC is delighted to work with IOM on increasing the awareness of customers, producers and potential victims towards eliminating human trafficking. This project complements Germany’s recent national legislation to increase transparency in international supply chains.” 

The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. It will be implemented through the IOM’s Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative.

For further information, please contact Ms. Anastasia Vynnychenko, Project Officer at IOM Viet Nam, email: [email protected]

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