July 30, 2022, New York, NY — The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) joins the global community in recognizing World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, held annually on July 30. We are proud of the work our corporate members do to engage in the fight against trafficking, including initiatives to train employees to spot signs of human trafficking and conducting thorough human rights due diligence to mitigate instances of forced labor in supply chains.
We welcome this year’s theme, “Use and abuse of technology.” This theme focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. With the global expansion in the use of technology – intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift of our everyday life to online platforms — the crime of human trafficking has conquered cyber space. The internet and other digital platforms offer traffickers numerous tools to recruit, exploit and control victims; organize their transport and accommodation; advertise victims and reach out to potential clients; communicate among perpetrators; and hide criminal proceeds – and all that with greater speed, cost-effectiveness and anonymity.
The U.S. Department of State released the 2022 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which highlights the efforts, successes and deficiencies of 188 countries to combat and prevent human trafficking. The scale of the problem continues to be vast, as nearly twenty-five million people are currently victims of trafficking. With an estimated thirty million victims worldwide at any given time, human traffickers prey on adults and children of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities, exploiting them for their own profit. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken gave remarks at the Report Launch Ceremony and highlighted the work of the twenty-one countries that were upgraded for their accomplishments. The Secretary also regretted the inaction, or even sponsorship, of eighteen nations that were downgraded. The report concludes that government corruption continues to be a top tool for traffickers.
USCIB commends the twenty U.S. agencies of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Traffickingin their efforts tackle this crisis.
USCIB and our members continue to take decisive action in the fight against human trafficking. The private sector continues to design and implement innovative programs to root out this type of abuse in supply chains. USCIB is a member of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Global Business Network on Forced Labour (GBNFL). Operating across all sectors and geographies, ILO GBNFL members and partners work to engage smaller enterprises, develop resources and tools and devise local solutions that help shape national frameworks to create lasting change.
USCIB and our members stand ready to work with civil society, academics, governments and others in the fight against human trafficking. We are committed to ensuring victims and survivors are treated with dignity and respect, and given opportunities in their post-rescue journeys.