March 14, 2017
An Uber driver in Sacramento picked up two women and a 16-year-old girl and brought them to a Holiday Inn. During the ride, the women discussed how the girl would be seeing “John” and the women would get money from him. After dropping them at the hotel, the driver called the police.
A flight attendant for Alaska Airlines noticed a well-dressed older man traveling with a 14- or 15-year-old girl who “looked like she had been through pure hell.” The flight attendant left a note in one of the bathrooms, on which the girl wrote “I need help” on the back. Police met the flight at the terminal after the flight attendant informed the pilot of the situation.
These girls were victims of trafficking and slavery, a USD 150 billion industry affecting more than 20 million people. It includes forced labor, child soldiers, sex trafficking, and child labor; it does not necessarily require that a victim physically be moved from one location to another. International conventions prohibiting slavery, trafficking or forced labor have been in force since 1930, and a number of recent laws require companies to disclose their efforts to combat human trafficking or implement anti–human trafficking compliance programs.
Many companies have introduced training programs to introduce their employees to the problem of human trafficking in their supply chains or specific business units. But some industries and governments have gone a step further. For example, Airline Ambassadors International provides training to flight attendants on recognizing human trafficking and what to do if they suspect a passenger is a victim. The State of Connecticut launched a training program for hotel employees to identify warning signs of trafficking and how to respond, and the California Hotel & Lodging Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association offer online training programs for their members to use. The San Diego Public Library trains its staff regarding human-trafficking issues, and the City of Austin plans to make such training mandatory for all city employees.
These programs recognize that anyone whose position includes interacting with people has the opportunity to recognize and resist this horrific practice. Companies should consider providing training to all of their employees—from C-suite to sales force—and joining the fight against human trafficking.
The TRACE Online Training Library helps our member companies reduce their risk exposure to critical compliance issues including human trafficking, bribery, money laundering and sanctions violations. TRACE members enjoy unrestricted access to our Online Training Library and Customizable Training Platform and may train an unlimited number of their employees and third parties. To request a demo account please write to [email protected]l.org.
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