January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. It raises awareness, reaffirms the company’s commitment to preventing human trafficking, dispels common misconceptions about human trafficking, and educates employees on how to identify and report illegal activity to keep employees safe. It is an opportunity to educate employees.
Human trafficking, often referred to as modern-day slavery, should be a top safety concern for employers throughout the year. The U.S. Department of State defines human trafficking as the use of force, deception, or coercion to control and manipulate victims into performing certain types of labor or commercial sexual acts.
Common misconceptions about human trafficking
Misconceptions about human trafficking can perpetuate illegal activity. Understanding the truth about human trafficking puts businesses and their employees in a better position to identify and report allegations.
Misconception: Human trafficking does not occur in the United States.
Real: The United States ranks as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking, with an estimated 199,000 cases per year, according to DeliverFund, a non-profit organization that fights against human trafficking. It occurs in all states and cities, suburbs, rural towns, and communities across the country.
Myth: Victims of human trafficking are usually from another country.
Real: Victims of human trafficking can become victims regardless of age, race, sex, gender, religion, national origin, level of education, or citizenship status. Anyone can become a victim.
Myth: Few industries are affected by human trafficking.
Real: Human trafficking is more common in hotels, but can occur in any industry, including restaurants, cleaning services, agriculture, construction, and manufacturing.
Myth: Victims of human trafficking seek help when they are in public.
Real: Language barriers, fear of retaliation from traffickers, and fear of law enforcement often prevent victims from obtaining the help they need.
Myth: Women are the only victims of human trafficking.
Real: Just like women, men are also exploited in human trafficking. Victims are children, teenagers and adults.
Steps to take to combat human trafficking
Businesses can take steps to combat human trafficking and keep all employees safe.
1. Know your state law
Several states require companies in the industry to train their employees on how to identify and respond to human trafficking. For example, his eight states—California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Virginia—now require human trafficking training for lodging workers. At least 21 other states recommend human trafficking awareness training in the lodging industry.
2. Train your employees to recognize warning signs
Human trafficking is not always obvious, and staff should be educated regularly on how to combat this illegal activity. Interactive training opens people’s eyes to the exploitation of human trafficking and its misconceptions. The more information our employees have, the better our ability to spot signs of human trafficking and report suspicions.
3. Scrutinize supply chain vendors
Scrutinize the supply chain vendors that support your business to ensure that approved third parties do not include companies that participate in or look into human trafficking.
4. Establish anti-trafficking policies and procedures
Organizations should have policies in place that clearly communicate their business commitment to fighting human trafficking and written procedures for reporting suspicious activity.
5. Post signage at work
Post signs in visible locations in the workplace to let employees know what common signs of human trafficking are and how to get help. Signs must include instructions on how to call the National Trafficking Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-373-7888 to report a potential trafficking situation.
6. Cooperate with local law enforcement
Building relationships with law enforcement ensures that organizations have a clear point of contact in an emergency. Encourage law enforcement officers to actively participate in employee education programs by regularly briefing employee locations on trafficking indicators.
January is National Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Month, and human trafficking is a serious crime that can affect everyone, everywhere. Ongoing training and education help employers combat human trafficking within their facilities and supply chain, ensuring the safety and well-being of all employees.
DELTA Data Protection & Compliance, Inc. Academy & Consulting – The DELTA NEWS – email@example.com