Diginex recently partnered with The International Organization for Migration (IOM), a related organization of the United Nations, IKEA and Tat Win (one of the world’s largest latex concentrate producer and exporter) to better protect migrant workers in the rubber supply chain in Thailand.
At the core of the project stands the importance of using impact technology to drive greater transparency and trust in the cross-border recruitment of migrant workers. Responsible recruitment includes implementing the ‘Employer Pays Principle’, where employers (not #migrants) pay for any fees or costs for their recruitment and employment. Recognizing the important contribution that migrant workers make from tapping trees to operating production lines, Mr. Kee Long, Director at Tat Win, said that migrant workers form the backbone of Tat Win’s natural rubber latex supply chain. Therefore, the fair and equal treatment of migrant workers should be the responsibility of all employers.
Mr. Kanwarpreet Singh, Sustainability Compliance Manager at IKEA Purchasing & Logistics Area South East Asia also stressed IKEA’s commitment as a buyer to a responsible supply chain for rubber: “Being responsible for the total supply chain gives us a unique opportunity to make a positive change for people, society and the planet. What we do matters, and it is equally important how we do it. For us, it is important to create a positive social impact for everyone across the IKEA value chain which includes working with others to define fair and responsible wage practices and gaining an in-depth understanding of the recruitment journey of migrant workers,” he added.
The collaboration also yielded direct business benefits for the participating suppliers. Ms. Leanne Melnyk, Head of Global Supply Chains at Diginex, noted that brands and suppliers who invest in worker voice technology are able to stay ahead of the curve by understanding and responding to worker concerns in real-time – leading to improved productivity and retention rates and more engaged employees at all levels of employment.
Over100 Myanmar migrant workers were engaged in the project and shared their feedback on recruitment experiences and employment conditions, allowing IKEA and Tat Win to better understand the recruitment and labour practices in their value chain, and get a bird’s eye view of key risk areas.
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