Migrant workers and sustainability in global supply chains: Opening a dialogue between research, business and advocacy

The large-scale recruitment of migrant workers has vast implications for global supply chains. Yet there has been little dialogue across disciplines or exchange with practice and policy on this topic.

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The large-scale recruitment of migrant workers is a major feature of the global economy, with an estimated 169 million international migrant workers—or 1 in 20 workers—worldwide. In particular, economic transitions in middle-income countries are generating an unprecedented demand for labour in regions as diverse as Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. This has immense implications for multinational enterprises and the global supply chains that support them. Yet there has been little dialogue across disciplinary frontiers or exchange with practice and policy on this topic. This Webinar aims to address this gap.

The opening words will be provided by Paul Baldassari (Flex Ltd.) and Elizabeth Frantz (Open Society Foundations). Jeremy Clegg (University of Leeds) and Jennifer Gordon (Fordham University) will discuss academic research on social sustainability in global supply chains and the intersection between trade and migration, respectively. Kevin Franklin (ELEVATE/LRQA) will share insights from his twenty-plus years in global supply chain consulting and Stephanie Bratnick (Institute for Human Rights and Business) will contribute her experiences in managing cross-sector partnerships that seek to drive positive change.

About the speakers:

Paul Baldassari

Paul is Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations and former Chief Human Resource Officer at Flex Ltd.—the third largest global electronics manufacturing services company by revenue, with approximately 175,000 employees across 30+ countries. In addition to his corporate career, Paul conducts academic research in the areas of sustainable human resource management, migration and SDGs.

Elizabeth Frantz

Elizabeth is the Deputy Director of Equity in Global Programs and the Division Director for Corporate Accountability and Workers’ Rights at the Open Society Foundations. She works with civil society, government and private sector partners to build capacity and to hold economic actors accountable for labour and environmental harms. She has deep experience working on global workers’ rights, business and human rights, migration and development issues.

Jeremy Clegg

Jeremy is a Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and International Business Management at the University of Leeds. His research interests lie in the determinants of foreign direct investment into the European Union, firm internationalization, organizational change in liberalizing markets, such as Hungary and the People’s Republic of China, and sustainability challenges in global value chains.

Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer is a Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. Her scholarship focuses on the regulation of low-wage workplaces, migrant workers’ rights, the intersection of trade and migration, and the relationship between law and social change. Earlier in her career, Jennifer founded and directed a non-profit immigrant workers centre in Hempstead, New York, called The Workplace Project.

Kevin Franklin

Kevin is Managing Director of ELEVATE—a business consulting and services company focused on supply chain assessment and sustainability solutions, with clients in more than 100 countries and up to 20,000 audits per year. Kevin has authored numerous sustainability reports and supported the development and implementation of risk mitigation strategies for many multinational companies.

Stephanie Bratnick

Stephanie is the North American Regional Coordinator for IHRB’s Migrant Worker program and the Manager of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment—a collaboration between leading companies and expert organizations to drive positive change in the way that migrant workers are recruited. Her primary expertise is in emergency response for cases of forced labour and human trafficking.


Aida Hajro

Aida is a Professor of International Business and Director of the Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds.

Milda Å½ilinskaitÄ—

Milda is a Senior Scientist and Manager of the Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

This webinar will be co-hosted by:

Centre for International Business at the University of Leeds (CIBUL)
KNOMAD at the World Bank
Migration, Business & Society

If you have any questions about this event please contact IBenquiries@leeds.ac.uk.