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Tokyo, 26 February – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Panasonic Holdings Corporation have signed a Global Framework Agreement aimed at strengthening the rights of migrant workers in supply chains.

The agreement is critical as the most recent Global Estimates of Modern Slavery Report disclosed that the Asia-Pacific region is home to the highest number of victims of forced labour globally, with 15 million out of 28 million. Moreover, a staggering 86 percent of forced labour incidents are traced back to the private sector, where migrant workers are exploited at a rate three times higher than that of local workers.

“This agreement represents a pivotal step in our joint efforts to promote ethical recruitment and responsible employment, and to combat forced labour,” said IOM Director General Amy Pope, meeting Panasonic executives in Tokyo. “We look forward to collaborating with Panasonic on ways to protect and reinforce the rights and well-being of migrant workers around the world.”.

Since 2018, with IOM support, Panasonic Group Companies in Malaysia have formulated policies and standard operating procedures for the ethical recruitment and employment of international migrant workers. By identifying and remediating issues through on-site operational checks of policies and manuals, they are working to establish effective management systems to safeguard labour and human rights of all workers in supply chains.

Shigeki Mishima, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, Panasonic Holdings, stated “The partnership with IOM demonstrates our commitment to ensuring freely chosen employment in our operations and supply chains. It is an exciting next step in our continuous improvement journey in addressing the risks of forced labour and challenges migrant workers face in a collaborative and innovative manner.”

The agreement provides a framework for further collaboration to respect migrant workers in line with United National Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and IOM’s Migrant Worker Guidelines for Employers. This includes providing technical advice and reviewing Panasonic’s corporate policy and procedures in Malaysia, capacity building with Panasonic’s business partners, and migrant-centered human rights due diligence assessments. It also encompasses management reviews and evaluations to assess changes in the migration and recruitment process and the employment experiences of migrant workers.

IOM recognizes that safeguarding the rights of migrant workers is a shared responsibility and a foundation of regular labour pathways. Grounded in the ‘Protect, Respect, and Remedy’ framework of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), IOM collaborates with governments, businesses and civil society members to uphold migrant workers’ rights.

Through its flagship regional programme Migration, Business and Human Rights Programme in Asia (MBHR Asia), IOM continues working with its partners to strengthen integration of migration in the business and human rights dialogue, encourage ethical recruitment and responsible employment, and promote regular labour migration pathways as an alternative to irregular migration.  


For media queries, please contact:

Nguyen Thi Hong Yen, Communications Coordinator, IOM MBHR Asia,


About Panasonic

Founded in 1918, and today a global leader in developing innovative technologies and solutions for wide-ranging applications in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, industry, communications, and energy sectors worldwide, the Panasonic Group switched to an operating company system on April 1, 2022 with Panasonic Holdings Corporation serving as a holding company and eight companies positioned under its umbrella. The Group reported consolidated net sales of 8,378.9 billion yen for the year ended March 31, 2023. To learn more about the Panasonic Group, please visit:

Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (
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