VF Corporation Partners with the IOM to Uphold Migrant Worker Rights in a Pilot Recruitment Programme throughout South East Asia

Mar 12, 2020

Ho Chi Minh City – To uphold migrant workers’ rights in garment and footwear supply chains, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently entered into a partnership with VF Corporation (VF), one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear, and accessories companies. The new partnership seeks to create enhanced responsible recruitment policies and implement leading due diligence procedures to eliminate migrant worker vulnerabilities during the worker’s migration process.

“International labor mobility continues to rise throughout the global workforce. Migrant workers constitute key elements of the labor force in global supply chains. The migration experience often leads to positive outcomes for millions of migrants and their communities. However, the migrant workforce may be exposed to abuse and exploitation throughout the migration process. The IOM-VF project exemplifies focused activites directed by the IOM’s Corporate Responsibility for Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative. Together, we uphold migrant worker rights through ethical and socially responsible business operations, including prohibiting the payment of recruitment fees and related costs by migrant workers,” says Mark Brown, acting Chief of Mission, IOM Viet Nam.

Engaging with labor recruiters within countries of origin allows VF to identify and build responsible channels, paid by the employer, for the ethical recruitment of migrant workers.  By driving changes throughout the migrant recruitmentment system, VF promotes greater protection of worker rights and reduced debt, thereby enhancing the journey of migrant workers. 

VF requires that our supply chain partners adhere to ethical recruitment standards, including the employer pays principle,  meaning that workers at VF contract factories may not be charged any fee or cost related to their recruitment, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part Following the success of the pilot project, new policies and procedures will be implemented globally throughout VF. 

Sean Cady, vice president of VF Global Sustainability and Responsibility, stated that “VF prohibits forced labor and modern slavery in any form throughout our global supply chain. Our IOM partnership further demonstrates our commitment to use VF’s scale to uphold worker rights throughout the garment and footwear industry. This program directly aligns with VF’s Purpose, We Power Movements of Sustainable and Active Lifestyles for the Betterment of People and our Planet.”

CREST is an IOM partnership initiative that aims to realize the potential of business to uphold the human and labor rights of migrant workers in their operations and supply chains. 

For further information, please contact:

Maximilian Pottler | CREST Project Manager, IOM at (mpottler@iom.int)

Molly Cuffe | Director of Corporate Responsibility Communications, VFC (Molly_Cuffe@vfc.com)