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Published

January 24, 2022

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Human trafficking is a global problem that touches many industries and business relationships. Employers are and must be part of the solution.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Task Force to Eradicate Human Trafficking develops toolkits to raise awareness and provide education, hosts programs, and meets with government officials to advocate on behalf of the interests of Chamber members. In addition, the task force offers companies a platform for educating the public about their initiatives to support trafficking victims, thus giving survivors a voice.

Before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Chamber convened a diverse set of stakeholders at forums to discuss how businesses play a pivotal role in recognizing the plight of victims and provide life-changing opportunities.

On January 15, 2020, at the Integrating Services for Trafficking Survivors event, speakers emphasized that employers, in conjunction with social service organizations, counseling firms, housing agencies, and skills-based training organizations, provide resources to help human trafficking victims heal.

On May 6, 2021, the Chamber held the Business Solutions: Empowering Human Trafficking Survivors forum, where advocates and representatives of survivor-led organizations highlighted the business community’s partnership with civil society to facilitate recovery, return, and reintegration to those who have been harmed.

This publication builds on the event series by focusing on how businesses are taking the initiative to uplift individuals who have been marginalized.

Needs and Opportunities

When survivors exit human trafficking, the common needs highlighted below frequently become barriers to building a future life.

  • Housing
  • Health Care
  • Job Training and Employment
  • Education
  • Legal Advocacy
  • Daily Living

This joint toolkit focuses on the business community’s role in Health Care, Job Training and Employment and Daily Living. For each need, businesses can provide meaningful solutions.

Opportunities for Engagement

Opportunities for your business to engage include the following activities:

Sometimes, you may find ways to do all of these.

Examples and Highlights

Example 1: Health Care

Why Is This a Challenge?

In the U.S., up to 88% of human trafficking victims present themselves to health care settings, many between 15 and 18 times during their exploitation. Survivors report on average more than 10 concurrent physical, sexual, and mental health issues.

Highlighted Business

Anthem, a pioneer in responding to human trafficking, became a founding member of the AFRJ Freedom Council in 2016.

Anthem’s Associate Resource Groups spearhead awareness campaigns for National Human Trafficking Awareness Month each January and on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons each July. Through national webinars, in-office outreach, intranet promotions, and an array of communication efforts, they have reached thousands of associates and affiliates nationwide to be aware of human trafficking, how to spot it, and how to report it.

Over 2,000 Anthem associates have earned their Human Trafficking Awareness Badge from Justice U, an online education platform for justice advocates created with support by the Freedom Council.

In 2020, Anthem sponsored the development of a comprehensive training for all frontline health care partners (HCPs): Healthcare Response to Human Trafficking (available on Justice U). The company works with its affiliates nationwide, including Amerigroup and BlueCross BlueShield, to disseminate this training to all HCPs in their networks that are in a position to recognize and respond to human trafficking and improve identifications, outcomes, and care for survivors.

Call to Action

Check out the training sponsored by Anthem.


Example 2: Job Training and Employment

Why Is This a Challenge?

Owing to numerous challenges that stem from experiencing exploitation, survivors often find it difficult to pursue education or skill-building opportunities. This creates barriers to obtaining a job or starting a career.

Highlighted Business

Randstad, a founding member of the AFRJ Freedom Council and a global leader in staffing and workforce solutions, is committed to corporate social responsibility. While services exist to support survivors upon their rescue, a pathway to jobs and/or education has been nearly nonexistent. Randstad recognized an opportunity to fill this gap.

Working with the AFRJ Freedom Council and other partners, Randstad created an award-winning and globally recognized program: Hire Hope. Now in its sixth year, with over 600 graduates and a success rate over 95%, the program is continuing strong and expanding.

How Does It Work?

Hire Hope provides career training and skills to women overcoming tremendous obstacles. The program offers 35 weeks of career readiness training, focusing on paid apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and job placement opportunities. Participants include those who have aged out of foster care or are survivors of homelessness, domestic violence, exploitation, and/or human trafficking.

The program comprises three phases:

Restore

  • A 12-week interactive career readiness training.
  • Classes on building confidence, business acumen, team building, and interview preparation.

Grow

  • A 23-week paid apprenticeship.
  • Occupational preparation (e.g., on-the-job training).
  • Incentives for transportation, child care, meals, and clothing items.

Thrive

  • Placement in a temporary or permanent employment position.
  • Six months of career transition support.

Call to Action

Contact Randstad to discover how your business can become part of Hire Hope.


Example 3: Employment

Why Is This a Challenge?

Globally, 80% of survivors of human trafficking experience re-trafficking due to a lack of employment opportunities.

Highlighted Business

The Freedom Business Alliance (FBA), launched in 2016 and supported by the AFRJ Freedom Council, is a global network that creates business solutions for trafficking victims. A freedom business employs survivors of human trafficking and those at risk. The FBA consists of 100+ freedom businesses in more than 28 countries.

By creating jobs in supportive environments, these freedom businesses break the cycle of trafficking by giving survivors jobs.

The FBA connects and supports freedom businesses, partners, and allies through research, training, and business development opportunities.

Call to Action

FBA’s vision is to scale the Freedom Business movement and create a Freedom Job for every person trapped in modern slavery and exploitation. With over 100 freedom businesses located in the U.S. and around the world, opportunities exist to support this initiative.


Example 4: Life Needs

Why Is This a Challenge?

Programs and organizations that support survivors and those at risk of trafficking need funding, tangible items, and volunteer services, all of which businesses can support.

Highlighted Business

The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (MAC), a convener of business leaders throughout Atlanta, is well positioned to raise awareness.

MAC drives business engagement alongside community and government initiatives to prevent human trafficking through on-site trainings, seminars, and meetings; social media channels; and partnership opportunities.

When Atlanta held the Super Bowl in 2019, the AFRJ Freedom Council and MAC brought together Fortune 500 companies and small businesses to learn why large travel and tourism events increase the prevalence of human trafficking in the host city.

They also discussed how to assist law enforcement, local shelters, and restoration homes meet the needs of victims.

Now, MAC and Freedom Council members provide guidance and coaching for businesses that take the Business Pledge to End Human Trafficking.

Call to Action

Take the Business Pledge to End Human Trafficking.

Next Steps and Resources

Questions to Ask

  • What is our company doing to help the community?
  • How can we enhance efforts to address human trafficking?
  • How can we support local anti-trafficking programs and leaders?
  • What gaps exist in our community? How can our business help?

Resources

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and A21 joint toolkit, Human Trafficking
In conjunction with The A21 Campaign, whose mission is “to abolish slavery everywhere, forever,” the Stop Trafficking Now toolkit educates businesses on how to detect and stop labor trafficking in supply chains.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Truckers Against Trafficking Business Engagement Toolkit
The U.S. Chamber, in collaboration with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT), a nonprofit organization that educates, equips, empowers, and mobilizes members of the trucking, bus, and energy industries to combat human trafficking, produced this toolkit to train employees on the dangers posed by sex trafficking and provide best practices.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Leading by Example publication
This publication focuses on how businesses are taking the initiative to recognize the warning signs of human trafficking and how to stop it.

It features company profiles of Deloitte, Freedom a la Cart, Marriott International, Polished Pearl, Selah Freedom/Selah Way Foundation, and Walmart and presents strategies that businesses of all sizes can use to thwart this heinous crime.

U. S. Chamber of Commerce and Counter Human Trafficking Compliance Solutions (CHTCS), CHTCS Journal Special Edition
This joint publication by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Counter Human Trafficking Compliance Solutions provides an overview of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign; contributes a case study of the health care provider PatientPoint; and highlights the U.S. Chamber’s role as the voice of industry.

AFRJ® Freedom Council

Business Toolkit: Online Edition

Business Pledge to End Human Trafficking

Business Tools & Resources Catalog

Human Trafficking Awareness Badge

Additional Resources

Randstad’s Hire Hope Program

Freedom Business Alliance

List of organizations working to end human trafficking