How Business Leaders Can Help Stop Human Trafficking

Business leaders can educate themselves on the signs of human trafficking operations and partner with the health care industry to report and stop it.


Air Date: January 24, 2022

Moderator: Michael Billet, Director, Policy Research, Employment Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Glenn Spencer, Senior Vice President, Employment Policy Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Featured Guests: Kalyn Stephens, Senior Vice President, Executive & Strategic Initiatives, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)

Human trafficking is a heinous crime. There were 10,583 instances of potential human trafficking reported to the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline in 2020.

Business leaders play an important role in deterring human trafficking by forming partnerships and understanding trafficking indicators. At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Deterring Human Trafficking event, experts and advocates shared how leaders across industries can prevent this crime.

Human Trafficking Initiatives Should Be Addressed in the Health Care Setting

Dr. Hanni Stoklosa, co-founder and CEO of HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy and Linkage) Trafficking, said the health care sector has already built systems of response for other forms of interpersonal violence such as child abuse, domestic violence, and elder abuse.

“Health care is waking up to issues of health equity [and] social determinants of health,” Stoklosa continued. “[We’ve] never really [thought] about health so holistically beyond the walls of our healthcare facilities. [It] just makes so much sense [to be] integrating [trafficking] that into the work that's being done to address health inequities.”

To focus on common social determinants, health care professionals should be trained to detect the warning signs of those being harmed.

Health Care Professionals Can Partner with Other Industries to Combat Human Trafficking

Health care professionals can strengthen partnerships with experts in other industries.

“Healthcare is such a critical and integral piece to this fight, but we're not the only [industry],” said Abby Boldin, Amerigroup ombudsman for the Georgia Families 360 program. “It's having those relationships with those in other industries, those coming from other backgrounds, to have a unified front [and] fight this issue to raise awareness [and] to know where to go if things are seen or noticed or identified.”

Joining forces with experts across various industries helps build a larger support system and safe space for victims.

Business Owners Across Industries Should Educate Themselves and Employees About Trafficking

Linda Reich, the co-founder of kNot Today, stressed the importance of educating business owners and their employees on how to spot those being trafficked.

“We're going to be partnering with an exterminator company who sees and walks in these houses,” she said. “That’s just one aspect of how a business can really educate their employees [on] what to do [and] what to say. If you suspect nefarious activity in a home, how do you handle it?”

According to Reich, actions that business owners can take in these situations include distributing QR codes and parent-caregiver protection guides, seeking further information and helpful resources, providing safe gaps on technology, training employees on red flags, and financially supporting organizations that drive prevention efforts.