IOM and VF Corporation Strengthen Collaboration to Advance Migrant Inclusion

After five years of concerted efforts benefiting over 7,000 migrant workers within VF Corporation’s supply chain, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and VF Corporation are embarking on their first-ever comprehensive global partnership.

This strategic alliance aims to jointly advance the rights and welfare of migrants and vulnerable groups employed within VF Corporation’s supply chains.

Elizabeth Warn, Global Head of Labour Mobility and Social Inclusion at IOM, emphasized, “This new three-year collaboration harnesses the strengths and expertise of both organizations, striving to uphold the human and labour rights of migrants and ensure their access to lawful labour migration channels. These endeavors aim to unlock the transformative potential of migration for sustainable development.”

Aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and key human and labour rights conventions, IOM, through its Thailand country office, will work closely with VF Corporation to reinforce ethical recruitment practices, advocate for decent work, and facilitate effective remedies for migrant workers.

Maria Lassen, Senior Manager of Global Worker Rights at VF Corporation, affirmed their commitment, stating, “At VF, we are dedicated to supporting migrant workers across our supply chain and have broadened our focus to understand their journey beyond factory premises. Our collaboration with IOM has been invaluable, and expanding this partnership strategically will further our mission, ultimately benefiting workers across our global supply chain.”

Central to this initiative is the shared dedication of IOM and VF Corporation to enhancing the lives of migrants, especially the most vulnerable among them. Leveraging their global reach, efforts to mitigate human rights risks and promote ethical supply chains will extend worldwide, fostering close collaboration among suppliers, recruiters, civil society, policymakers, and other stakeholders.

The collaboration between IOM and VF Corporation began in 2019, initially focusing on enhancing VF’s internal commitments and policies supporting migrant worker rights. Subsequently, IOM supported VF’s Your Voice Matters pilot, providing expertise in program creation and execution. This collaboration culminated in the development of VF Corporation’s Roadmap for Responsible Recruitment, benefiting over 7,000 migrant workers. The expanded global partnership aims to continuously improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers throughout VF Corporation’s supply chain.

Ms. Lassen reiterated VF’s commitment, stating, “Migrant workers contribute to VF’s products daily. It is imperative to ensure their dignity, particularly regarding their living and working conditions. VF recognizes the importance of partnership in this endeavor and is confident that collaborating with IOM will enhance our program and, consequently, the lives of workers.”

Géraldine Ansart, IOM Chief of Mission in Thailand, expressed enthusiasm for the expanded collaboration, saying, “Building upon the success of our partnership in Thailand, we are excited to extend our collaboration with VF Corporation globally. By integrating migrant workers into ethical supply chains in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact for Migration, we establish a framework for inclusive growth and social justice. Upholding their rights and well-being not only fosters economic prosperity but also reaffirms our collective commitment to human dignity.

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