Gap Inc. and IOM enter into license agreement to support impacted communities and migrants in Bangladesh


 

Date Publish: 
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Dhaka – Global retailer Gap Inc. and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have signed an agreement that will enable IOM to implement the company’s innovative Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) curriculum modules in Bangladesh.

Launched in 2007, P.A.C.E. was initially created to support women working in the global apparel industry. It has since expanded to community settings, including schools and universities, operates in 18 countries and has trained approximately 300,000 participants. It provides foundational life skills, technical training and education, including courses on communication, problem-solving, decision-making, time and stress management and financial literacy. P.A.C.E. participants report increased knowledge, skills and productivity, as well as higher self-esteem and confidence.

Over the past decade, migration has become one of the strongest drivers of Bangladesh’s growing economy. With more than 12 million Bangladeshis residing abroad, the country witnessed remittances inflow of USD 13.6 billion in 2018. Bangladesh also hosts a large population of refugees. Factors such as poverty and lack of job opportunities across the country will continue to influence migration in the near future.

“Bangladesh is a unique example when it comes to addressing migration. The parallel progression of managing migration, protecting migrants, and building resilience of communities through technical and soft skills development, is extremely important for the country to ensure its continued growth,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief Giorgi Gigauri.

“Migration is now an integral part of the country’s development agenda. Achieving efficient and sustainable migration governance cannot be achieved through the efforts of government and development actors alone. It also depends heavily on private sector initiatives such as P.A.C.E.,” he added.

P.A.C.E. also supports IOM’s Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) initiative, which is designed to help unlock the potential of the private sector to drive positive change for the protection of migrant workers and their communities in Asia.

“The P.A.C.E. program unlocks opportunities for people around the world. Not only do participants gain important skills and resources to help plan for their future, but they often become advocates for change. When even one person can confidently raise their voice, it has a positive ripple effect that will benefit many others. We’re proud to continue to scale the program through this new and innovative partnership with IOM,” said Susan Goss Brown, president of Gap Foundation.

Based on positive program evaluation results, Gap Inc. expanded P.A.C.E. beyond the workplace setting to community locations in 2013 and designed an education program for adolescent girls in 2016. More recently, Gap Inc. continued to evolve the program by establishing certified master trainers to share tools and resources, and also began to license P.A.C.E. to select strategic vendors and partners in order to provide even more people access to P.A.C.E. The company has estimated over one million women will have participated in P.A.C.E globally by 2022.

At a signing ceremony held in April, both organizations committed to helping to bring about positive changes for migrants and their communities through this effort.

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Email: mbinharun@iom.int, Tel. +880-1755-509-476