In December 2016, President Obama proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, culminating with National Freedom Day on February 1. Here’s what you can do to educate yourself about human trafficking and to take action to eradicate it:
The U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons has contracted Verité to expand and enhance the Responsible Sourcing Tool over the next five years. The Responsible Sourcing Tool is a free web platform created to help visualize and understand the risks of human trafficking in supply chains. The website contains a model compliance plan with downloadable templates and other tools based on Verité’s deep experience helping leading companies combat trafficking in their global supply chains. Verité launched the tool in 2016 with a series of meetings in the Washington, DC area opened by Ambassador Susan Coppedge, who directs the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Verité has previously carried out research on labor conditions in coffee and palm oil production in Guatemala, and has generally found workers employed in agriculture, including sugar production, in Latin America to be highly vulnerable to exploitation, including labor trafficking. While there have been no recent in-depth studies on worker vulnerability to labor trafficking in the Guatemalan sugar sector, Verité findings from previous research in the Guatemalan agricultural sector and reports from other organizations that have carried out research in other Central American countries indicated a high level of risk among Guatemalan sugarcane harvesters. Therefore, Verité chose to carry out research in the Guatemalan sugar sector.
In 2017, Verité looks forward to continuing work on the project, Promoting Safe and Fair Migration from Kenya to the Gulf States, in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Kenya and HAART, an NGO dedicated to ending human trafficking in Kenya. From Verité’s earliest days, we have been committed to working with partner organizations in the regions in which we work. While meeting face-to-face with our partners in Nairobi last month, we solidified our collaborative approach to build a project that brings together stakeholders from all stages of the labor migration corridor between Kenya and the Gulf states.