IOM and the Responsible Business Alliance Foundation Partner to Promote Ethical Recruitment of Migrant Workers in Malaysia

Date: Dec 02, 2020
Location(s): Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR, November 2, 2020 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) Foundation have partnered to promote safe migration for workers in Malaysia through the transformation towards ethical and fair recruitment and labour practices in labour supply chains.  

The partnership will support the continued pilot of the Responsible Recruitment Program (RRP) designed to strengthen ethical recruitment of migrant workers between Malaysia, Indonesia and Nepal. 

“IOM’s partnership with the RBA Foundation will advance a progressive and comprehensive ethical recruitment mechanism in the region” said Kendra Rinas, Head of Office, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Malaysia. “We believe IOM's extensive experience in labour migration, strong field presence as well as the global framework developed under the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) Initiative will complement these efforts and translate collective aspirations into tangible results in working towards eliminating forced labour in global supply chains.”

IOM and the RBA Foundation will seek to enhance migrant workers’ access to ethical recruitment and build the capacity of private recruitment agencies (PRAs) to progress towards meeting global supply chains’ responsible recruitment standards, specifically based on the IOM’s flagship initiative, the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) and the RBA Code of Conduct.  

“This collaboration between IOM and the RBA Foundation will help drive efforts by businesses to uphold ethical recruitment standards,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the RBA Foundation and the CEO of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA).  “This initiative complements the strengths and capabilities of both IOM and RBA to protect the dignity of migrant workers in global supply chains.” 

The RBA Foundation and the IOM as its implementing programme partner aim to accelerate the transformation of recruitment and labour markets and reduce the risk of forced labour by engaging with key stakeholders to increase their understanding of actors and cross-border practices involved in the recruitment process of migrant workers, and to help them with identifying improvement areas within their operations necessary to end migrant labour exploitation.

This initiative is part of the IOM Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) and IRIS, which strive to enhance the protection of the human and labour rights of migrant workers in business operations and international labour supply chains. Through these efforts, IOM collaborates with other stakeholders to promote an ethical business model of international labour migration.

Through this partnership, the aim is to accelerate the transformation of recruitment markets and reduce the risks of forced labour by: 

  • Conducting additional research and data collection to help ensure the best chances of success
  • Piloting economic incentive models for ethical recruitment
  • Increasing engagement with stakeholders such as workers, civil society organizations and governments
  • Increasing worker voice through the expansion of the RBA Helpline
  • Partnering with local civil society organizations in the countries of origin to conduct the pilot pre-employment orientation training for jobseekers and worker engagement at the community levels 
  • Harmonizing responsible recruitment and employment practices across multiple stakeholders in sending and receiving countries
  • Developing additional public education and resources on forced labor and ethical sourcing

For more information, please contact IOM at [email protected] 


Media Contacts:

Joanne Tsu Fae Chua, National Programme Officer
International Organization for Migration – UN Migration Agency
Phone: +6016 663 0148
[email protected] 

Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721
[email protected]

About the International Organization for Migration
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental partners. With 173 member states and offices in over 100 countries, IOM helps to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promotes international cooperation on migration issues, assists in the search for practical solutions to migration problems, and provides humanitarian assistance to migrants in need. In the field of labour migration, IOM operates IRIS: Ethical Recruitment, a global multi-stakeholder initiative that supports governments, civil society, the private sector and recruiters to establish ethical recruitment as the norm in cross-border labour migration and CREST, a regional partnership initiative that aims to realize the potential of business to uphold the human and labour rights of migrant workers in their operations and supply chains.

About the RBA Foundation
The Responsible Business Alliance Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) supporting organization of the Responsible Business Alliance, a Section 501(c)(6) organization. The RBA Foundation is organized, administered and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, including to improve the public’s ability to make informed decisions about the social, environmental and economic responsibility in the supply chain of the products they purchase and to engage in other charitable, scientific and educational activity. For more information, visit 

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