Protecting migrant workers in international supply chains – IOM hosts live sessions at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020

Date: Jul 03, 2020

On June 15 and 16, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted three live sessions as part of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Leaders Summit 2020 to further important discussions on migrant workers in international supply chains and migrant entrepreneurship. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit, which virtually brought more than 17,000 participants, 10,000 companies and over 3,000 non-business participants together in conversations on how to rebuild more inclusive economies and societies. 

The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and take steps to support UN global goals. Recognizing the vast potential for business to effect positive change, the UN Global Compact supports companies to do business responsibly by aligning their strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. The UN Global Compact further emphasizes how to take strategic action to advance broader societal goals on collaboration and innovation under the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM)is dedicated to promote safe, orderly and regular migration for the benefit of all. IOM proactively supports governments and companies through various global and regional initiatives to uphold human and labour rights of migrant workers in supply chains and enhance migration benefits. During COVID-19, it remains important for IOM to foster inclusive discussions on migration with the wider business and non-business audiences to share good practices, exchange experiences and lessons-learned. These three live sessions brought together representatives from IOM, business and civil society to speak from their experience on ethical recruitment, migrant entrepreneurship and blockchain technology and how these efforts can serve to promote the benefits of migration.

Through sharing lessons learnt, examples and best practices, the IOM Live Sessions in the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020 provided opportunities for participants to inspire, learn and contribute to solutions for the challenges facing migrant communities and business alike. 
Following are brief summaries of each one-hour live session as well as links to view:

Session 1: “Recover Stronger: Ethical Recruitment in Global Supply Chain during COVID-19” [Link to view]
Focused on the risks of labor exploitation faced by migrant workers during recruitment, migration and employment in the context of supply chains and the COVID-19 pandemic; this live session shared crucial steps to take to identify risks, enhance protection policies, strengthen due diligence, grievance mechanisms and access to remedy by speakers from the IOM International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), Intel, Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) and Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility. 

Session 2: “Building Back Better: Promoting Ecosystems for Inclusive Entrepreneurship” [Link to view]
IOM and the Impact Hub Network came together to highlight the potential of migrant entrepreneurs in building a better world post-COVID-19. Migrants and refugees contribute greatly to the development of their communities back at home, and their new places of residence. Sharing their technical expertise and experience in a global initiative, IOM and the Impact Hub Network discussed how to scale up inclusive businesses that positively impact society. The session highlighted that inclusive businesses are in support of the Sustainable Development Goals and small and medium enterprises development agenda. The panelists also shed light on how migrant entrepreneurship can have a catalyzing effect for job creation, income generation and igniting economic activities. 

Sessions 3: “Protecting Migrant Workers Across Supply Chains Through Blockchain” [Link to view]
The panelists explored how new technologies – such as blockchain – provide opportunities to overcome current challenges with implementing ethical recruitment and to stop the exploitation of migrant workers throughout their migration journey. Migrant Forum Asia shone a spotlight on the pervasive factors that increase the vulnerabilities of migrant workers and how COVID-19 has exacerbated these problems, including increased trends of wage theft. IOM Viet Nam, representatives from The Coca Cola Company and Diginex Solutions gave examples of how they support suppliers and business partners in adopting ethical recruitment standards with user-friendly tools and technologies. 

While progress has been made, with only ten years remaining until the 2030 deadline for achieving the UN Global Goals, there remains extensive work to be done. Migration, including ensuring the welfare of migrant workers, is an issue that cuts across achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.   Recognizing this, IOM extends its appreciation of valued partners for lending their time and expertise to benefit all participants of the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2020. 

For more information about how your efforts can be inclusive of the unique needs, concerns and risks for migrant populations, please contact:

Contact Us