Putting an End to Human Trafficking
Popularized in such films as Taken, Slumdog Millionaire, and Holly, human trafficking and modern day slavery are very real problems for the most vulnerable people on the planet: women and children. The UN protocol defines human trafficking as the “illegal trade of human beings, through abduction, the use or threat of force, deception, fraud, or ‘sale’ for the purposes of sexual exploitation or forced labor.”
The numbers are high. 800,000 people being trafficked into another country every year and millions enslaved within their own country through forced labor or years of forced servitude. The US estimates 14,000 to 17,000 people are trafficked in the United States annually.
The ICCR has been a leader in social justice since the 1970s when the organization chose to combat apartheid in South Africa. Their tactics then and now are to target businesses and ask the leadership to 'scrutinize their supply chains and operations' to ensure they are not adding to the problem. The announcement also states this would be a preemptive move on the part of businesses ahead of upcoming 'legislation.'
ICCR believes business leaders can take steps to reduce human trafficking by implementing impact assessments and employee training to sensitivity on this issue. Some of the 27 companies listed on their call to action are: Kohl's US Airlines, Macy's, Sears, Cannon, Proctor & Gamble, and Walgreen's.
Companies were also praised for their efforts by taking a preemptive approach to human trafficking: Carlson, GAP, HP, LexisNexus, and Manpower.
According to the US State Department's 10th Global Trafficking in Persons Report, human trafficking occurs for a variety of reasons and is mainly based on vulnerability through poverty, ignorance, civil unrest, global markets, legal and illegal immigration, and internationally organized crime.