Scaling Anti-Trafficking Efforts Across Sectors Through Collaboration

Photo Credit to deberarr on iStock

July 27, 2023
  • Claudio Formisano portrait

    Claudio Formisano

    Global Lead, Human Trafficking and Forced Labor, BSR

  • Alice Pease portrait

    Alice Pease

    Manager, Human Rights, BSR

  • Kelly Metcalf portrait

    Kelly Metcalf

    Manager, Human Rights, BSR

  • Lale Tekişalp portrait

    Lale Tekişalp

    Associate Director, Technology Sectors, BSR

  • Taylor Hannegan portrait

    Taylor Hannegan

    Manager, Human Rights and Collaborative Initiatives, BSR

  • Jiajia Chen portrait

    Jiajia Chen

    Associate, Human Rights, BSR

Key Points

  • July 30 marks World Day Against Trafficking and a time for business to reinforce commitments to anti-human trafficking efforts.
  • Two of BSR’s collaborative initiatives—the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (GBCAT) and Tech Against Trafficking (TAT)—are merging to scale anti-human trafficking efforts between multinational business, civil society, survivors and academia.
  • GBCAT’s new coalition will focus on three key areas: Corporate Supplier Capacity-building, Survivor Empowerment and Employment, and Tech Against Trafficking.

Human trafficking is on the rise around the world. Every year, conflicts, humanitarian crises, climate change, and socioeconomic challenges leave millions of people vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers.

On July 30, the United Nations marks World Day Against Trafficking by calling on the global community to reinforce commitments to eliminate human trafficking. We are proud to answer that call and to announce that the Tech Against Trafficking (TAT) coalition has merged with the Global Business Coalition Against Trafficking (GBCAT) in an effort to enable a more comprehensive business approach to scale anti-human trafficking efforts through collaboration between leading multinational business, civil society, survivors and academia. 

Established in 2012, GBCAT aims to harness the power of business across all sectors to prevent and reduce human trafficking, and expand survivors’ access to resources. TAT launched in 2018 as a coalition of technology companies collaborating with global experts to help eradicate human trafficking using technology, including job skills training. With this merger, TAT is now one of three core workstreams of GBCAT, and the unique focus on the use of technology to prevent, disrupt, and reduce human trafficking will become part of GBCAT’s efforts. Together, we aim to create a one-stop hub for businesses to work together across sectors and from different angles to eliminate human trafficking.

GBCAT’s work is focused on three workstreams: 1) Corporate Supplier Capacity-building, 2) Survivor Empowerment and Employment, and 3) Tech Against Trafficking (TAT).

Corporate Supplier Capacity-building:

GBCAT supports capacity building among small and medium sized enterprises to prevent and eradicate human trafficking. Its Toolkit on Addressing Forced Labor and Modern Slavery Risks aims to help companies that work in corporate supply chains identify areas of their business that carry the highest risk of modern slavery and develop a simple plan to prevent and address those risks.

GBCAT has also published a compendium specifically for procurement functions to help ensure that business partners are conducting business free of modern slavery. Most recently, GBCAT published free, downloadable template policies to help corporate suppliers establish standalone, comprehensive corporate policies on modern slavery and child labor. GBCAT plans to build on these efforts by directly engaging corporate suppliers and updating GBCAT’s Supplier Portal with new resources. 

Survivor Empowerment and Employment:

Safe and sustainable employment is one of the most effective ways to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable individuals and the re-exploitation of survivors of human trafficking and other forms of slavery. As a key focus area, GBCAT published a guide that describes actions business can take to empower and employ survivors. Additionally, GBCAT and Futures Without Violence developed a free virtual training for managers on how to implement a trauma-informed workplace that supports both employees and survivors of human trafficking. Looking ahead, the coalition plans to build on this work, including efforts to pilot a survivor employment program in the U.S. 

Tech Against Trafficking (TAT):

Digital information and communication technologies can serve as a powerful tool to disrupt and reduce modern slavery. Tech Against Trafficking aims to advance the use of technology solutions to fight human trafficking, while addressing the misuse of technology to facilitate crime.​ 

​TAT works with civil society, academia, technologists, and survivors to identify promising uses of technology in the anti-trafficking field, and to advance and scale the use of these solutions through its Accelerator Program. As more businesses are using technology and data to address forced labor risks in their supply chains, TAT is exploring how to strengthen the labor data and technology ecosystem. TAT is also focused on facilitating cross-industry sharing and collaboration to prevent technology-facilitated trafficking. 

Current GBCAT members include Amazon, Boost Engagement, Carlson, The Coca-Cola Company, Google, Marriott International, Meta, and Microsoft. BSR provides executive leadership and secretariat support for GBCAT. GBCAT welcomes inquires from any company that wishes to actively contribute to our mission to harness the power of business across sectors to prevent and reduce the incidence of human trafficking, and support survivors.

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