Business community acting to end human trafficking

While the prime responsibility for eliminating human trafficking rests with governments, a successful global strategy requires engagement of a wide range of stakeholders, including NGOs, the security sector, the public – and the business community. 

On 23 January 2006 in Athens the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement (SMWIPM)[1] launched the ‘End Human Trafficking Now’ initiative to rally the business sector to join the global campaign against human trafficking. Business leaders gathered at a meeting hosted by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-sponsored by the International Organization for Migration, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)[2], the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime (UNODC)[3], the World Bank, the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF)[4] and the Foundation for the Child and the Family.

In Athens corporate leaders signed up to seven Ethical Principles against Human Trafficking:[5]

  • zero tolerance towards human trafficking
  • awareness-raising campaigns and educational activities
  • mainstreaming anti-trafficking in all corporate strategies
  • ensuring the compliance of personnel
  • encouraging business partners to apply the same ethical principles
  • advocacy to urge governments to strengthen anti-trafficking policies
  • wider sharing of good practice.

 

A Working Group of business leaders was constituted and charged with disseminating the Ethical Principles and soliciting sustained involvement of the business community. The SMWIPM is responsible for coordinating and facilitating the Working Group.

 

Aleya Hammad is a founding member and member of the Board of SMWIPM. Email: aleya@hammad.com . For more information, or to be involved in the End Human Trafficking Initiative, contact SMWIPM, PO Box 2161, CH-1211 Geneva 1, Switzerland. Email: info@gcwdp.org Tel: +41 22 741 7784.

A background document, Trafficking Women and Children, Overcoming the Illegal Sex Trade, was produced for the Athens roundtable. Sponsored by the SMWIPM, it was published by the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford. To obtain a free copy, please contact SMWIPM.

 

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