Leveraging Corporate Power in the Fight Against Human Trafficking
Human trafficking – the recruiting, transport, harboring or receiving of persons through force, coercion or fraud – targets vulnerable people who are then exploited through forced labor, bonded (debt) labor, prostitution or other sexual exploitation, or as child soldiers. It is a crime without borders; every country in the world has been touched by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims.
"Voices of Survivors" (CAST video on human trafficking):
ICCR works with companies in a broad range of industries to establish comprehensive human rights policies that incorporate anti-trafficking and anti-slavery measures. Our members help educate companies about the realities of trafficking and the business risks associated with these human rights violations.
In February, 2013 ICCR hosted a panel exploring the extent of human trafficking in the global food supply chain. Participants included (left to right):
Diana Robinson, Campaign and Education Coordinator, Food Chain Workers Alliance;
Saru Jayaraman, co-director, Restaurant Opportunities Center;
Ariel Jacobson, Senior Associate, UUSC’s Economic Justice Program;
Nadira Narine ICCR Program Director, Strategic Initiatives;
David Schilling, ICCR Senior Program Director - Human Rights & Resources; and
Bill Dempsey, Senior VP of Finance and Program Director, Health, Nathan Cummings Foundation.
Celebration without Exploitation at the London Olympics
This spring, ICCR and a coalition of 36 U.S. and U.K. investors led by Christian Bothers Investment Services launched the “Celebration without Exploitation” campaign to shed light on the hidden risks of human trafficking and slavery at the London Olympics.
The campaign built upon lessons learned during earlier anti-trafficking campaigns at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the last two Super Bowls here in the States. During the spring, the group sent letters to 13 London-area hotels and 20 Olympic sponsors and suppliers, asking them to take steps to ensure that the full scope of their business operations were trafficking- and slavery-free.
The campaign also wrote to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), urging it to create clear guidelines for its business partners covering the complete life cycle of the Olympics, including the adoption of policies prohibiting trafficking and slavery, and public reporting on outcomes.
The group has developed a report which evaluates the responses and outlines the following six recommended best practices regardless of industry:
1. include and define human trafficking in human rights policies;
2. expand human rights policies and programs to include fair and responsible hiring practices;
3. utilize human rights impact assessments to more thoroughly identify and address trafficking risks; 4. disclose additional information on anti-trafficking training programs for staff and suppliers;
5. provide greater detail on the audit process, including performance and integration of findings; and
6. improve public reporting on steps taken to combat human trafficking to demonstrate accountability to stakeholders.
Investors Respond to New SEC Rule Addressing Conflict Minerals in Supply Chains
For 15 years, mineral production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (referred to as the DRC, or the Congo) has funded armed militias committing human rights atrocities, leaving over 5 million dead, and a legacy of child soldiers, refugees, and widespread rape. For this reason, minerals sourced from the DRC and other regions where they are used to finance violence are called “conflict minerals”.
To ensure their supply chains remain conflict mineral-free, in their engagements with at-risk companies, ICCR has recommended the following steps be taken:
Develop and implement internal policies regarding conflict minerals;
Establish risk assessment, management, procurement, due diligence practices, and remediation systems to prevent conflict minerals from entering their supply chains;
Communicate to their suppliers the unacceptability of having conflict minerals in their products;
Participate in multi-industry initiatives to establish, certify, trace and promote conflict-free minerals;
Work with investors and other stakeholders to encourage the US government to help bring peace to the Congo; and
Support sustainable, community-driven economic development in the Congo.
The California Supply Chain Accountability Act
The California Supply Chain Accountability Act, a groundbreaking piece of anti-trafficking and slavery legislation, requires companies doing business in the state of California with global annual gross receipts exceeding $100 million to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and trafficking from their direct supply chains. ICCR, along with Christian Brothers Investment Services and Calvert Investments, published Effective Supply Chain Accountability, a guide to facilitate companies’ implementation of the law.
Measure your slavery footprint with an online tool: