Strengthening capacity to improve transparency and ethical recruitment practices in Fast Retailing supply chain
Ho Chi Minh City - On 11-12 February 2020, IOM conducted a two-day training on ethical recruitment and foreign migrant worker vulnerabilities for Fast Retailing in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.
The purpose of the training was to strengthen the capacity of Fast Retailing to enhance labour supply chain integrity and build foundational technical skills and knowledge on ethical recruitment and foreign migrant worker vulnerabilities. It further aimed to prepare the Fast Retailing Social Sustainability team for future engagement with their suppliers in Thailand, Japan and Malaysia to identify and address key risks of exploitative recruitment practices and labour conditions.
IOM also welcomed representatives of the Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain (ASSC) and the Fair Labour Association (FLA) to this training, seeking to strengthen collaboration and develop joint action towards promoting human and labour rights of migrant workers.
As a result of the training, participants have a better understanding of specific vulnerabilities of foreign migrant workers and forced labour risks in the company’s supply chains. By the end of the training, they identified actions to address these risks through closer supplier engagement and improving international recruitment practices in line with Fast Retailing’s commitment to the Responsible Recruitment as defined by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) .
“Fast Retailing wants to include a stronger foreign migrant worker focus in our assessments. Partnering with IOM strengthens our ability through this training and increased knowledge to engage properly and confidently with our suppliers." - said Veronique Rochet, Sustainability Director at Fast Retailing. “The IOM Migrant Worker Guidelines provide a good basis for Fast Retailing to develop practical guidance for our suppliers” she added.
The training introduced IOM’s labour supply chain mapping methodology and tools to the context of Fast Retailing supply chains. Taking this opportunity, IOM introduced the Migrant Worker Guidelines, which helps companies identify, assess, and mitigate specific risks and meet practical requirements, international standards on upholding human and labour rights of migrant workers in supply chains and good practice at all stages of the labour migration process.
“Migrant workers fill critical labour shortages in global supply chains. When large companies like Fast Retailing take action and improve recruitment practices and labour supply chain management, it means one more step towards ensuring labour and human rights of migrant workers” said Maximillian Pottler, Project Manager of the IOM’s Corporate Social Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative. He added: “The next important step is to strengthen engagement along Fast Retailing supply chain to ensure understanding and implementation of the company standards on ethical recruitment”.
Naomi Tanaka, Sustainability Supply Chain Labour Management: “We needed to learn about foreign migrant worker vulnerabilities to be confident to support our suppliers in assessments of their labour supply chains. After this training, I feel more confident and ready to start working on this”.
With the skills and knowledge developed during the training, Fast Retailing is expected to work closely with their suppliers to conduct onsite assessments and foreign migrant worker interviews seeking to enhance transparency in the company’s labour supply chain and informing remediation procedures.
The training was delivered by IOM under the ongoing partnership project with global apparel company Fast Retailing to promote ethical recruitment and fair labour practices in garment and footwear sector. The partnership project, which kicked off its activities in September 2019, aims to study the recruitment and employment conditions of migrant workers in Fast Retailing’s supply chains and to develop the company’s capacity to respond to identified challenges related to the human and labour rights of migrant workers.