The United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol broadly defines Human Trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, and harboring of persons by means of abduction, coercion, or deception for the purpose of exploitation.” According to the Human Rights Law Network, human trafficking is the third largest form of global organized crime, after firearms and drugs.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that nearly 21 million people world- wide are trapped in jobs they cannot leave, after being lured into them with false promises. The ILO highlights the Asia-Paci c region, Africa, and Latin America as the regions with the highest number of trafficked and enslaved workers, and companies that source goods from such areas are advised to carry out extra due diligence.
Industries that rely on low-skilled or unskilled workers need to be especially vigilant, as traffickers target vulnerable people and use them to fill labor shortages. There are increased risks in industries that have a limited production timeframe, such as a short harvest period, or a tight deadline to produce a new product. In an environment of fierce competition, some employers may be tempted to use trafficked workers in a bid to keep labor costs lower than their competitors.
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