WASHINGTON — A group of nine leading corporate giants have joined together to formally launch The Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking to combat and eradicate modern-day slavery.
The founding member companies include Manpower Group, The Coca-Cola Co., Carlson, Microsoft Corp., Delta Air Lines, LexisNexis, Travelport, Exxonmobil and NXP.
The coalition members, who have been working to together and individually to develop the mission over the past year, said they plan to leverage their global networks to eliminate all forms of forced labor in their supply chains, where it may be unknowingly present, and also help to eradicate sex trafficking in the travel and tourism industry.
The coalition said there is misconception that the majority of human trafficking victims are employed in sex trafficking. The International Labor Organization reports that 70 percent of the victims of human trafficking are used in economic activities in supply chains, the coalition said.
President Obama, in a speech at the Clinton Global Initiative on Tuesday, condemned human trafficking, while touting his new executive order to put more teeth into federal agencies fighting human trafficking in the U.S. and around the world and hailing the new business coalition.
“Every business can take action,” Obama said. “All the business leaders who are here and our global economy companies have a responsibility to make sure that their supply chains, stretching into the far corners of the globe, are free of forced labor. The good news is more and more responsible companies are holding themselves to higher standards. And today, I want to salute the new commitments that are being made. That includes the new Global Business Coalition Against Trafficking — companies that are sending a message: Human trafficking is not a business model, it is a crime, and we are going to stop it.”
Members of gBCAT said they will develop training initiatives for employees, raise awareness among consumers, suppliers and partners, share best practices with other companies and offer assistance to other corporate leaders. The coalition also collaborates with governments, nongovernmental organizations and other civil society members.