I’m excited to introduce you to one of our awesome M121 Interns. Priscilla hails from Texas and we’ve been excited to see her passion for the poor through her writing. Please join in on this important topic around the role of corporations in the fight against trafficking. -Tony
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By Priscilla Ko
With the aid of social media venues and the utilization of apps such as Free2Work, discovering companies that violate basic human rights has become accessible right at our fingertips. We were flabbergasted when some of our favorite brands and products came under fire for their inhumane treatments inside sweatshops and factories. And as disgusting as it was in acknowledging these ugly truths, something greater resulted through public awareness. Throughout the next few weeks, we will begin unfolding some of the effects that arose with high profit businesses recognizing the issues and their resolves to join in the fight.
Why are we writing about this?
We’ve seen too many fingers pointed and negativity attached to corporations when it comes to the issues of human trafficking. Too often, we forget to see beyond the crisis and what companies are doing in contributions and solutions to fix the problems. Our hope is that through this series we may encourage those to realize the action towards progress evidently shown by businesses around us.
The Body Shop and ECPAT Coalition
We begin our series with perhaps one of the first pioneers in corporation involvement and human trafficking. In a campaign launch entitled Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People, this frontier effort was created by The Body Shop and ECPAT UK. This would be a focus on the promotion of awareness and policy changes that would aid children abused by the commercial sex trade around the world. Their joint report published in 2009 (found here) would provide a global understanding of the scope of the problem, aim to address “good practice interventions” and establish protocols needed to prevent abuse and protect children worldwide.
In addition, The Body Shop also introduced a global database Country Progress Card to assess international countries and their activity (or lack of) against human trafficking. It would later serve as a model for future organizations and technology applications in utilizing the grading scale concept in alerting the public of distasteful or noteworthy practices of various businesses. Many consumers received their first exposures on the issues in human trafficking because of the outbursts raised in consequence of this method contributed by the Country Progress Card.
Their firsthand leap into the development and aid in regards to human trafficking has earned The Body Shop recognitions, both as a corporate and a charitable reputation. The efforts demonstrated that it is indeed possible to consider profit margins while never to neglect humanity. The Body Shop set a precedent for future companies to follow in becoming cognizant and sensitive to the issues of human trafficking and enacting to make a change.
- What are some of the effects that you’ve seen as consequence of The Body Shop?
- How have you often viewed major corporations– are they perpetrators inflicting the pain or are they beacons of hope working towards change?
- What businesses have you actively seen take measures against human trafficking?
This is the first of a blog series investigating and discovering corporate businesses that have actively given help rather than hurt in the fight against human trafficking.