Slavery and Labor Trafficking Corporate and Consumer Responsibility


“Corporate social responsibility encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental impacts, as well as their relationships in all key spheres of influence: the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm.”

Harvard Kennedy School
Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative

Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Trafficking

Companies are under pressure to be accountable not only to shareholders, but also to stakeholders such as employees, consumers, communities, and society-at-large

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines trafficking in persons as:

    • Sex trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion. or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; and
    • Labor Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

Major forms of human trafficking include forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude and the worst forms of child labor, such as forced child labor and child sex trafficking.

Human Trafficking and Supply Chains
    • 68% of those in forced labor are victims of exploitation in private sector economic activities such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and services.
    • Trafficking is difficult to detect:
      • Abuses are hidden; characterized by deception
      • No paper trail or breakdown of worker payments
    • Exploitation occurs when unscrupulous recruiters:
      • Misrepresent jobs, pay and length of contract
      • Charge fees and provide high-interest loans
      • Illegally deduct, underpay or withhold wages
      • Take passports to prevent workers from leaving
    • $21 billion annual cost of coercion to individual workers in lost wages, illegal deductions, and excessive recruitment fees.
Corporate Strategies to Address Trafficking
    • Create human trafficking and ethical recruitment policies
      • Develop a common understanding and framework
    • Evaluate high-risk sectors and regions
      • Identify vulnerable workers and locations
    • Monitor and audit supply chains
      • Fix the problem and find the cause
    • Repay workers and terminate agents that charge fees
    • Train staff, workers and suppliers to identify and report human trafficking
      • Ensure workers know their rights, the laws, and hotline numbers
    • Improve public reporting
      • Share information with all stakeholders
      • Encourage suppliers to report


The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)

    • Created the first comprehensive federal law to address human trafficking, focused on prevention through public awareness and monitoring programs, protection for victims, and prosecution through new federal crimes. Download here

Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2014 (H.R. 4842)

    • If passed, companies would report if and how they identify and address human trafficking within their supply chains
    • Applies to companies with $100 million+ in revenue that report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Click here

The California Transparency in Supply Chain Law of 2010

    • Large manufacturers and retailers are required to report the extent to which they identify and address human trafficking within their supply chains
    • Applies to companies doing business in California with $100 million+ in revenue Download here

Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking In Persons in Federal Contracts

    • Executive Order 13627 requires federal contractors and subcontractors to take proactive preventative measures to detect and eliminate human trafficking and forced labor in their supply chains Click here

How YOU Can Help

  • CALL The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-3737-888 if you suspect a case of human trafficking or seek services
  • TALK about trafficking with friends, family and co-workers to raise awareness
  • LEARN from organizations, government agencies, and media focused on human trafficking to become better informed
  • BE a knowledgeable consumer and check what you use and consume is slavery free
  • GIVE your business to companies with robust anti-trafficking policies and programs
  • FREQUENT hotels that have signed The Code (created by ECPAT) and share info with non-Code hotels Download the CODE hotels
  • VISIT the websites of your favorite companies for evidence of anti-trafficking programs. If none, encourage them to develop and report on them. If they do, applaud their efforts
  • DOWNLOAD helpful apps, including those that rate items based on corporate anti-trafficking policies
  • ENCOURAGE legislators to sponsor and vote in favor of anti-trafficking legislation Click here


Labor Trafficking
Reports & Studies

International Labor Organization Profits & Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labor – Full Report
Profits & Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labor – Summary
United Nations – Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights Guiding Principles Business & Human Rights
Urban Institute Urban Institute- Labor Trafficking in the United States – Report Study on labor trafficking in the United States

ASK your Representative to co-sponsor
The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act
(H.R. 4842)