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IOM ROK Conducts Workshop to Promote Ethical Recruitment in Global Supply Chains
Seoul — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Republic of Korea (ROK), in cooperation with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Network Korea, hosted on 21 November a workshop on “Promotion of Ethical Recruitment in Global Supply Chains.” The event gathered 40 participants from the private sector and other stakeholders.
With emerging needs from consumers for ethical products, as well as the growing legislations at the regional and local levels on responsible recruitment and employment, promoting fair and ethical recruitment in line with international regulations and standards is of growing importance for businesses. The workshop sought to raise awareness of Korean business representatives and provide a platform to share good practices and resources to uphold the human and labour rights of workers in global supply chains.
“While migrant workers often help fill critical labour gaps, they are extremely vulnerable to exploitation at all stages of the migration cycle,” said Steven Hamilton, the Chief of Mission of IOM ROK. “Many Korean companies have global supply chains and employ a growing number of both local and migrant workers. It means you can play an important role in promoting ethical recruitment and protecting migrant workers’ human and labour rights.”
During the workshop, Anastasia Vynnychenko from IOM Viet Nam gave a presentation on “International Trends and Efforts on Fair and Ethical Recruitment and Employment of Migrant Workers in Global Supply Chains,” introduced IOM’s flagship initiatives to support businesses in upholding the human and labour rights of migrant workers, as well as relevant tools and resources with examples from the private sector in Asia.
Following the presentation, an open discussion session with experts from Amfori, Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) was held. Joyce Chau at Amfori raised the concerns over jurisdictional ambiguity derived from the complex nature of the global supply chains. Emphasizing the importance of worker-centric approaches in responsible recruitment, Guna Subramaniam at IHRB explained that monitoring data to progress on recruitment standards, employment conditions and the effectiveness of grievance mechanisms could be an ideal example.
“According to studies, embedding human rights and environmental considerations into corporate decisions and value chain management processes can improve the company performance and enhance risk management, sparking competitiveness, innovation and resilience,” remarked Cassandra Talbot from ECCK. “EU’s proposed shift from a voluntary model to a mandatory Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD) reflects well such transition.”
Attending the workshop, Eva Eunkyung LEE at UNGC Network Korea highlighted the businesses’ shared responsibility to commit and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Meanwhile, Sonyeong Lee at the National Human Rights Commission of Korea introduced real-life examples of contract breaches reported in the country, such as overdue wages and unsafe or unhealthy working conditions, along with abuse and exploitation of vulnerable persons, including undocumented migrants.
In her closing remarks, Miah Park, Chief of Mission at IOM Viet Nam, underscored the role of the Korean private sector in ethical recruitment to respond to the declining and aging population and take proactive actions to attract competitive workforce while upholding international standards.
IOM, through its flagship initiatives and diverse partnerships with private sector, has been promoting ethical recruitment in global supply chains across the globe. Building on the successful outcomes from the workshop, IOM will explore opportunities for cooperation with the businesses in the ROK to tackle modern slavery and promote workers’ rights.
For more information, please contact Dmitriy TSOY, IOM Republic of Korea Mission, Tel.: +82 70 4820 2750, Email: email@example.com.