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4 Ways That Companies Can Fight Human Trafficking

July 30, 2018


By Lauren Aste
Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel, CWT

The travel industry is a wonderful sector in which to work – but criminals abuse air travel, hotels, and events, to conduct hideous crimes against humanity.

Everyone knows that the trafficking of people is an illegal and fundamental violation of human rights in every country in the world. Despite that, it can still be difficult for the private sector to have the courage to put their brands behind this issue.

Today, 30 July, is the United Nations’ World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. There are millions of victims in the world today.

Let’s use this day to focus on four ways that companies can assist in the fight against these horrific practices:

1. Help those already on the battlefield

Many organizations already fight such criminal activity, so show your company’s values and reach out to support the likes of:

  • ECPAT, a global non-profit organization working to protect children from trafficking, sexual exploitation, and online abuse.
  • World Childhood Foundation, which supports more than 100 international projects, focused on preventing abuse and child exploitation.
  • The Orphaned Starfish Foundation, which helps orphans, victims of abuse and trafficking, and at-risk youth break the cycle of abuse and poverty through computer-based education, job training, and job placement assistance.
  • Thorn, which builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse, thus resonating with our own digital strategy.
  • TrustLaw, an organization that provides pro bono legal advice to not-for-profit organizations that fight modern slavery and human trafficking around the world.

2. Reinforce your company’s policies

Ideas which resonated with our organization include:

  • Establishing an anti-human trafficking task force, comprising colleagues from all regions and functions.
  • Ensuring our code of conduct encourages employees, partners and the broader business community to take a stand against human trafficking.
  • Reviewing the supplier code to meet the requirements of the UK Modern Slavery Act, and preventing any form of modern slavery in the supply chain.

3. Increase employee awareness

Employee engagement is critical, so look at ways of achieving this. Some ideas that have been proven to work include:

  • Introducing Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) Employers Alliance training, to help employees better understand and recognize the issue.
  • Creating a dedicated intranet section on human trafficking/modern-day slavery.
  • Hosting meetings with a partner (see 1, above).
  • Creating fundraising events to capture the imagination, such as
  • Encouraging colleagues to walk enough steps to circle the globe. 
  • Entering teams for events such as cycle rides, marathons, or bake-offs.
  • Being in travel we have also included over half a million travel alerts on electronic tickets issued in the US to destinations where there is a prevalence of child sex tourism.

4. Collaborate closely with stakeholders and public leadership

This year, Carlson was a sponsor of the Super Bowl Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee, made up of representatives from locally-headquartered global businesses.

And while public focal points like that may not happen all year round, why not get key business leaders to participate in high-profile industry events, which for us include the likes of the UN World Tourism Organization meeting in NY on the fight against child sexual exploitation in the tourism sector.

The fight against human trafficking is a cause that CWT feels very strongly about. Everyone has the right to a decent and safe life, free from slavery, and hopefully businesses like ours can help make that a reality.

This post contains just a few thoughts on how companies can help – and we’d love to hear other ideas to inspire us.

In the meantime, if you are interested to find out more about Human Rights at CWT read our Responsible Business Report.


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