Combating human trafficking

DNV joins forces with leading business partners to combat human trafficking

The UN-backed campaign ‘End Human Trafficking Now’ of the Suzanne Mubarak Women’s International Peace Movement continues to advocate for involvement of the private sector in the fight against human trafficking.

“I am a true believer in the invaluable role of the private sector plays as part of its corporate social responsibility, said H.E. Suzanne Mubarak, in her opening speech at the forum. “I would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude for the support shown by the international organizations, NGO’s, committed outstanding personalities, and above all the business community whose leading role and support is the driving forces behind the campaign.”

The two day forum, in which DNV participated, focused on key issues relating to human trafficking, sharing of best practices and experiences to combat human trafficking and carved out a set of challenges to pursue with various partners – governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and business and youth leaders.

“Business cannot succeed in a society that fails”

At the forum, COO Bjorn K. Haugland committed DNV to support the campaign and signed up to the Athens Ethical Principles, which through their implementation are designed to help companies combat human trafficking.

“Business cannot succeed in a society that fails,” commented Mr Haugland. “What we are dealing with here is a global phenomenon, a form of modern-day slavery, which represents the most horrendous crime against humanity. While laws and regulations are necessary tools to bring an end to impunity, the business community also has an important role to play to ensure a world that is free of the scourge of human trafficking.”

Human trafficking affects all nations worldwide and has serious consequences for global multinational supply chains. The most common forms of human trafficking consist of trafficking in persons for labour exploitation, including forced labour with little or no remuneration, detention of workers in 3rd party countries without the ability to return home, and trafficking of persons for the global sex trade. Current estimates put the number of victims between 4 million and 27 million people worldwide.

By implementing a zero tolerance policy in their business and actively engaging with all stakeholders, leading companies can contribute to awareness raising and advocacy, believes Mr Haugland. “They can reduce factors that allow human trafficking to thrive and take action against it in their sphere of operation and beyond,” he added.

First-ever Business Leader’s Award

The forum culminated in the announcement of the winners of the first-ever Business Leader’s Award to fight human trafficking. The award was split between three “outstanding individuals” Christopher Davis (International Campaigns Director for the Body Shop International), Marylin Carlson Nelson (Chairman and former CEO of Carlson Companies) and Robert Rigby-Hall (Senior Vice President, LexisNexis Inc). See attached pdf for more information on the winners and jury members.

Nili Safavi, senior consultant, Risk Management & Corporate Responsibility Unit, UK, who has been working on the End Human Trafficking Now Campaign for several years, coordinated the Advisory Committee, that sought nominations, rated and verified them and ranked the top 5 nominees. Mr Haugland was a member of the six person jury that selected the award winners.

“DNV is highly active in the sustainability arena, both in terms of the environment and areas related to the ethical and social aspects of sustainability,” says Ms Safavi and adds, “In particular, through its corporate responsibility and ethical supply chain services, DNV assists companies to reduce the risk of human trafficking and other forms of exploitation within what are often complex global supply chains.”

Source: Det Norske Veritas

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