“Demand for cheap labour and services is driving human trafficking,” says Mathieu Luciano, Head of Assistance to Vulnerable Migrants Unit at the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

 

Legislation plays a critical role

 

“It’s important to work with consumers to create awareness of trafficking, but we also need to incentivise companies to take action. Legislation plays a critical role. Companies are obligated to report measures used to address trafficking risks or incidents in their labour supply chain.”

“Companies have the duty to prevent trafficking, but also an obligation to remedy the harm of individuals through their supply chain."

Luciano highlights remediation as an aspect less understood by companies: “Companies have the duty to prevent trafficking, but also an obligation to remedy the harm of individuals through their supply chain. One remedy may be to reimburse recruitment fees that migrant workers have paid to secure a job.”

Anh Nguyen, Head of Migrant Assistance Division at IOM, says, “We want to encourage companies to move away from looking at things from a management system perspective, and towards a human resource mindset. It’s not just about the requirements companies need to meet, it’s about why they’re doing it and looking at their values.”

 

The human trafficking online portal

 

IOM have helped 90,000 victims over the last 20 years, assisting NGOs and governments in setting up protection for individuals. IOM has recently developed The Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), the world’s first human trafficking online portal, which includes rich, comprehensive data on individual victims gathered overtime. 

“Researchers and policymakers can now access this data to conduct their own analysis and better understand trends,” says Luciano. “The dataset comprises of 80,000 records of 180 nationalities exploited in 117 countries, in partnership with other counter-trafficking organisations.

"We want to work with more partners worldwide to make sure that additional data is collected. This will have a large counter-trafficking impact.”