Report from the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH) Conference on migrant labour in global supply chains

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Partners: Danish Ethical Trading Initiative 

Publication date: january 2009


This report is the output from the Danish Ethical Trading Initiative (DIEH) Conference on migrant labour in global supply chains that took place in Copenhagen on 30 January 2009. The report was prepared by The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration.

DIEH took the initiative to organise the conference due to the growing attention to the topic at hand by business and organisations working on ethical trade. DIEH member companies have pointed out that the presence of migrant workers in their global supply chains brings distinct ethical challenges to their daily work. According to the ILO labour migration is increasing worldwide, and there are now approximately 200 million international migrants, and millions more that migrate internally for work within the borders of their own countries. It seems valuable to give attention to this large and vulnerable segment of the workforce. In addition, an impact assessment of the Ethical Trading Institute (UK) shows that migrant workers are often worse off because of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Lastly, the issue has become even more pressing now that the ‘global economic meltdown’ seems to affect migrant labour in particular.

The purpose of the conference was to:
• explore the problems relating to migration between and within developing countries and emerging economies;
• discuss how businesses and other stakeholders engaged in responsible supply chain management can help to protect the rights of migrant workers in global supply chains.

The conference gathered a wide variety of participants with diverse backgrounds, including Danish and international businesses, NGO’s, unions, trade organizations, and academics.

The conference report presents a summary of the presentations and the main outcomes of the roundtable discussions.

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Migrant and Refugee Integration in Global Cities: The Role of Cities and Businesses

Authors: Teressa Juzwiak, Elaine mc gregor, melissa siegel
partner: maastricht graduate school of governance, unu-merit

Publication date: 2014


Migration is a local reality. Cities are places where both migrants and non-migrants interact, be it through working, studying, living, playing or raising their families. This report blazes a trail by linking migrant and refugee integration policies, public-private partnerships and the local level in a comparative discussion. It will serve to fill an important gap in the literature.

The study, initiated by The Hague Process on Refugees and Migration (THP) in partnership with UNU-MERIT and its School of Governance, looks at how businesses and governments in global cities contribute to the economic and social integration of migrant and refugee populations, either through outreach, specialised programs, the provision of services or targeted funding of NGOs; and to what extent these contributions can be deepened or expanded. The study focuses on efforts by the private sector and city governments – both separately and in partnership – to give these groups greater protection and opportunities in employment markets and communities.

More specifically, this report identifies good practices among the selected cities as well as gaps in intervention by determining whether and how business and cities are currently working together to create opportunities for migrants and refugees to deepen their integration into society. Where there is presently no collaboration between the private and public sectors, the research identifies barriers and opportunities for potential partnerships. To this end, the research draws from eight case studies: Auckland (New Zealand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Chicago (USA), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Lisbon (Portugal), Nairobi (Kenya), Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and São Paulo (Brazil).

Final Report

The report is accompanied by eight individual case study reports, one per city, which provide further background information and discussion for the interested reader. Click on the respective city below to download the individual case study report:

Buenos Aires
Kuala Lumpur
São Paulo

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People on the Move: Handbook of Selected Terms and Concepts related to Refugees and Migration

Editor and project Coordinator: Antoine Meyer
Co-editor: Auke Witkamp
Editorial Advisor: Antoine Pécoud (UNESCO)

Publication date: july 2008


An extensive terminology has evolved to cover standing and emerging issues related to refugees and migration as they also relate to the larger fields of human rights and development. This handbook takes stock of the present use of some selected terms and concepts. It is designed to be accessible to a general public which may not be familiar with the detailed discussions in the field of refugee and migration policy.

Civil society and the business sector play an increasingly important role in migration, and we also hope this handbook may be of use to them. Another intended audience is the media, firstly because many of the current perceptions on migration and refugees are shaped there, and secondly because terms are often incorrectly interpreted in media coverage.

Words matter, for labels impact people’s views and inform policy responses.
Brief comments are provided to complement the definitions proposed, to cover related terms or to highlight some issues behind the words.

For the purpose of clarity, the definitions are listed under the following sections:

Persons & Statuses: to identify the fundamental distinctions between the various persons concerned.

Terms and Concepts: to provide insights into the realities of the field and clarify emerging or recurrent topics.

Concepts of Reference: to frame discussions within a human rights and development perspective.

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State of Play Review: Migrants, Cities and the Business Sector

A global review of research-based evidence for policymaking by cities and businesses on migration


author:dr. Alfons Fermin
Partner: Western Union

Publication date: February 2011


The overall objective of this review is to compile and analyse existing significant research on policies and strategies regarding migration and its challenges for cities and the business sector, with the ultimate aim of facilitating evidence-based decision-making. As a modest first step, this report offers a state of play, or in other words, a snapshot of the current state of research based evidence on migration, cities and the business sector. The review aims to: develop a profile and inventory of the available policy-relevant, research-based evidence; distil and prioritise significant policy recommendations; and identify major gaps and overlap in research.

THP has chosen to focus on the business sector and cities, as these two key stakeholders are often excluded from the international refugee and migration policy debates. This is remarkable as the overwhelming majority of migrants settle in cities and thus local governments are most directly confronted with the challenges related to migration. Whilst issues of international migration and mobility are becoming a core strategic interest of businesses, due to processes of globalisation and a growing interdependence of economies and actors. Furthermore, policies and strategies of these two stakeholders are often more practice-oriented and therefore appear to be more open for rational information and arguments. This review is intended to be of assistance for all relevant stakeholders in cities and the business sector across the world involved in policy-making in the field of migration; but also to researchers seeking insight in the work done to date.

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