Samsung Electronics Joins UN Agency To Tackle Modern Slavery

By Akanimo Sampson
Samsung showcases the future of Connected Living at CES 2019.

Samsung Electronics is currently in league with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), a United Nations agency to tackle the menace of modern slavery. They hosted a workshop for Samsung’s Hungarian business partners on Modern Slavery and Ethical Recruitment.

Samsung is however, the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer electronics and semiconductors by revenue.

The workshop which took place in the last days of November was attended by 35 participants from Samsung Hungary, local suppliers and other business partners, and was designed to raise awareness of how to reduce the business risks associated with modern slavery.

Globally, around 40 million people are the victims of modern slavery. According to IOM, Walk Free Foundation and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), of these an estimated 25 million are victims of forced labour – often hidden in plain sight, yet working across all kinds of industries and geographies.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which have the highest rates of modern slavery, there are an estimated 3.6 million victims. Some 91 percent are believed to be victims of forced labour.

The Budapest workshop is the second workshop held by Samsung Electronics and IOM as part of an ongoing effort to address modern slavery in the electronics industry. It follows an earlier workshop held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in June 2019.

Both workshops aimed to raise awareness within the company and its business partners of the labour rights of migrant workers in its supply chains. Samsung’s commitment to prevent, identify and mitigate unethical recruitment practices is laid out in its Migrant Worker Guidelines.

The workshop included presentations by Samsung on its Migrant Worker Guidelines and basic workers’ rights and by IOM on the characteristics, industry specific risks of modern slavery and Hungary’s legal frameworks to prevent forced labour. Business cases for taking action to counter modern slavery and strategies for ethical recruitment were also discussed.

Mitigating the risks of modern slavery in supply chains varies in different contexts. IOM’s global presence allows it to partner with the private sector to promote ethical recruitment for effective human rights management. Samsung Electronics will continue its efforts to tackle modern slavery and promote workers’ rights in its global supply chain with IOM support.