Business, not Charity

Business, not Charity

Ikea’s plans to sell a line of rugs and textiles produced by Syrian refugees and Starbucks’ commitment to hiring ten thousand refugees are just two examples of global businesses that have taken it upon themselves to actively involve refugees in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies.

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Case studies from around the world show the increasing involvement of global businesses in engaging refugees not as aid recipients, but as employees, suppliers, investees, and consumers - according to the recently published “Global Business and Refugee Crisis” report. The report by the Center of Global Commitment, in coordination with Tent Foundation, emphasizes scope for global businesses to include refugees as a talented source of labour and as part of their supply chains; to invest in companies that hire and source from refugees; and to develop goods and services that address the unique integration needs of refugees. Although refugee recruitment generally requires an initial investment, IKEA’s 2016 sustainability report states that involving locals and refugees is “business, not charity”[1] and IKEA continues to proudly stock their high quality handcrafts. Fact remains that, in order to enable refugees to become economic contributors, they will need opportunities like this, as well as sufficient rights and support.  Read the full report here.

[1] IKEA Group, ‘Sustainability report FY16‘, 31 August 2016, p.73.

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