Responsible Business Alliance Foundation Receives Second $1M Grant from Walmart Foundation to Continue Ethical Recruitment Programs

ALEXANDRIA Va., Nov. 2, 2020 -- The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) today announced the RBA Foundation has received a $1.1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to continue to build on its efforts promoting safe worker migration in Malaysia through the transformation of recruitment practices in supply chains and engaging with job seekers earlier in their recruitment journey. The RBA Foundation’s programs on ethical recruitment have been funded in large part by an earlier grant of $1M in 2018 from the Walmart Foundation, to support their goal of advancing worker dignity across global supply chains.

Currently, the RBA Foundation is in the final phase of completing pilots of the Responsible Workplace Program (RWP) and Responsible Recruitment Program (RRP) in Malaysia with Indonesia and Nepal as the countries of origin. The RWP is an education and capacity-building program for workplaces and workers to identify and address forced labor risks. The RRP seeks to provide a three-level development pathway for private recruitment agencies (PRAs) to progress toward meeting global supply chains’ responsible recruitment standards and, in particular, conformance with the RBA Code of Conduct.

“Our continued support of the RBA Foundation’s work to strengthen the market for responsible recruitment practices in Southeast Asia helps advance our overall efforts to prevent forced labor in global supply chains,” said Rebecca Westover, Senior Manager, Walmart Foundation. “The work under this grant will build on key learnings to enhance and extend capacity building efforts for recruitment agents towards a responsible recruitment business model that will promote the rights and dignity of workers.”

“We greatly appreciate the continued support of the Walmart Foundation as we further advance ethical recruitment efforts in Asia,” said Rob Lederer, Executive Director of the RBA Foundation and the CEO of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). “This grant will facilitate the wider adoption by private recruitment agents of international standards that will protect migrant workers' rights.”

Through this latest Walmart Foundation grant, the RBA Foundation and its implementing program partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), aim to accelerate the transformation of recruitment markets and reduce the risk of forced labor by:

  • Conducting additional research and data collection to help ensure the best chances of success
  • Piloting economic incentive models for ethical recruitment
  • Increasing engagement with stakeholders such as workers, civil society organizations and governments
  • Increasing worker voice through the expansion of the RBA Helpline
  • Partnering with local civil society organizations in the countries of origin to conduct the pilot pre-employment orientation training for jobseekers and worker engagement at the community levels
  • Harmonizing responsible recruitment and employment practices across multiple stakeholders in sending and receiving countries
  • Developing additional public education and resources on forced labor and ethical sourcing

“IOM’s partnership with RBA will advance a progressive and comprehensive ethical recruitment mechanism in the region,” said Kendra Rinas, Head of Office, International Organization for Migration (IOM) Malaysia. “IOM's extensive experience in labor migration, strong field presence as well as the global framework developed under the IRIS Initiative will complement these efforts and translate collective aspirations into tangible results in working towards eliminating forced labor in global supply chains.”

About the RBA Foundation

The Responsible Business Alliance Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) supporting organization of the Responsible Business Alliance, a Section 501(c)(6) organization. The RBA Foundation is organized, administered and operated exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, including to improve the public’s ability to make informed decisions about the social, environmental and economic responsibility in the supply chain of the products they purchase and to engage in other charitable, scientific and educational activity. For more information, visit RBAFoundation.org

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart.org represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. Walmart.org is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit www.walmart.org or find us on Twitter @Walmartorg.

About the International Organization for Migration

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental partners. With 173 member states and offices in over 100 countries, IOM helps to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promotes international cooperation on migration issues, assists in the search for practical solutions to migration problems, and provides humanitarian assistance to migrants in need. In the field of labor migration, IOM operates IRIS: Ethical Recruitment, a global multi-stakeholder initiative that supports governments, civil society, the private sector and recruiters to establish ethical recruitment as the norm in cross-border labor migration.

 

Media Contacts:

Jarrett Bens, Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721
jbens@responsiblebusiness.org

Tricia Moriarty
Walmart Media Relations
Phone: +1 800.331.0085
news.walmart.com/reporter

Itayi Viriri, Senior Regional Media and Communications Officer
International Organization for Migration – UN Migration Agency
IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok
Phone: +66.65.939.0934
iviriri@iom.int

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