By: Charmaine Santos
Modern-day slavery is estimated to directly victimize 21 million people globally, targeting men, women and children. No sector in the economy is immune; the market that drives slavery is complex and large.
While it is difficult to pinpoint what products are slave-produced from what is not, industries are capable of making a big impact on global human rights. They wield retail power through their networks of employees, suppliers, and customers.
Corporations can take action and help fight against human trafficking by doing 8 things:
- Inspire leadership: Corporate leadership taking a stand and setting initiatives against trafficking may inspire other corporate leaders to do the same.
- Slavery-Free Supply Chains: Suppliers and vendors should sign contracts stating that they will practice responsible, slave-free trade.
- Training: The problem of human trafficking should be highlighted during employee training programs. Employees should be encouraged to report suspicious behavior to law enforcement or management.
- Philanthropy: Employee campaign funds for the purpose to fight human trafficking can be created.
- Volunteer: Begin a volunteer initiative fighting human trafficking or hosting corporate volunteer days.
Educate the Customer: Spread human trafficking awareness to the customer.
For example, travel agencies can educate customers on awareness language and how to spot a trafficking incident.
- Public Policy Outreach: Corporations can work with their local and federal governments to make initiatives against human trafficking.
- Partnerships: Corporations can also assess anti-trafficking resources they might need by partnering with public and civil society entities.
Different industries partnering together and getting involved with their community can make a significant change in gaining headway to the elimination of human trafficking. While ending human trafficking is not an easy problem to solve, sectors working together may be one of the most effective methods to drive down demand through accountability.
Charmaine Santos is a sophomore at the University of San Francisco pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Biology as well as minors in Chemistry and Health Studies. She volunteers alongside UCSF medical students at a student-run homeless clinic in San Francisco and is also an active volunteer with Operation Access. Charmaine is also a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.
Reference: Stanoch, Tammy L. (2015, Feb. 19). “8 ways companies can help end human trafficking.” World Economic Forum. Retrieved May 8, 2015 from https://agenda.weforum.org/2015/02/8-ways-companies-can-help-end-human-trafficking/.
Photo Credit: (Felix Clay) http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/mar/24/loophole-modern-slavery-bill-transparency-supply-chain-abuses
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