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Press Release

Grant Thornton and The International Organization for Migration sign wide-ranging MOU

This MOU focusses on the complementary objectives, experience, strengths and skills of both international organisations with the ultimate aim to assist those with the greatest needs – the migrant labourers in the region.

Grant Thornton and The International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

This MOU focusses on the complementary objectives, experience, strengths and skills of both international organisations with the ultimate aim to assist those with the greatest needs – the migrant labourers in the region.

As one of the world’s leading accounting organisations Grant Thornton are known throughout the world as a leading business adviser that helps dynamic organisations to unlock their potential for growth. They have extensive assurance and advisory skills which are key requirements in the assessment, certification and on-going monitoring of how companies are conforming to widely recognised international standards with regards to ethical migrant labour practices.

Grant Thornton has substantial related experience and extensive executive business relationships and networks throughout the South East Asia region. Additionally it operates a comprehensive CSR programme where its employees are involved in making meaningful contributions to the societies and communities in which they work.

IOM, as the leading international organization for migration, acts with its partners in the international community to:

  • Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management.
  • Advance understanding of migration issues.
  • Encourage social and economic development through migration.
  • Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.

Ian Pascoe, Managing Partner of Grant Thornton commented “The issue of migrant labour in South East Asia is a huge one and is headline news daily in newspapers across the region and globally. Every company operating in each country that operates in this region should understand the tremendously positive business impact of ensuring they conform to internationally recognised standards on migrant labour whether they provides goods locally or internationally. These investments pay-back substantially and are critical in today’s modern trading environment which is highly interconnected and where consumers are increasingly informed through social media.”

Ian continued, “However businesses want to understand how they can ensure they comply with these standards, especially in their immediate or extended supply chain, and consumers want to know how they can be sure that products they have bought come from the result of ethical practices. For example from October 2015 all large companies that do business in the UK are legally required to publish an annual statement which describes the steps they have taken to ensure that modern slavery does not take place in their own business and their supply chains anywhere in the world (including in the UK itself). Grant Thornton can help companies across the region with this.”

The MOU which has been signed by Grant Thornton and IOM relates to a broad range of cooperation including:

  1. Research on ethical recruitment and working conditions of migrant labour in South East Asia, the relevant legal and academic framework as well as relevant entities and authorities involved, with a specific focus on ethical recruitment and conduct.
  2. Jointly drafting a Business Case for ethical trading, recruitment and management of migrant labour with a special focus on South East Asia and extended supply chains in order to improve companies’ compliance with ethical practices based on IOM’s and Grant Thornton’s experiences and projects in the region.
  3. Work with local and international companies on the region on the issues of ethical trading, recruitment and management of migrant labour through field testing, validation, certification and on-going “organic” management of the company’s migrant labour practices both within the immediate and extended supply chains.

David Knight, Chief of Mission for Vietnam and Regional Coordinator for Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR for the International Organization for Migration commented “IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, be they refugees, displaced persons or other uprooted people.”

David continued, “A huge influence on this mission are consumers and in particular how they relate to business, especially given the interconnected nature of business in the modern world. IOM see this as hugely complementary to work together with a leading global firm with excellent business contacts and the right commercial skills to work with businesses on what will be a significant win for business and for consumers who will have the reassurance that the products they are purchasing come from companies with ethical migrant labour and supply chains.  At the heart of this collaboration is a shared commitment to improve the outcome for the many millions of unskilled and semi-skilled migrants that are moving within this region to work and our partnership with Grant Thornton will look to promote human rights standards, ethical recruitment practices and employment conditions for these migrants.”

Ian concluded, “We are very excited to be working with IOM. The unique combination of IOM’s significant experience in this area and Grant Thornton’s Assurance and Advisory skills and extensive commercial relationships will ultimately directly benefit those that need it most – the migrant labourers themselves, at a time when there is clearly a need to protect the most, those that have the least.”

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