Migrant Workers

Combatting Human Trafficking

Speech, 10 October 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB

Flickr/ungift

At a Wilton Park conference on business and human rights, IHRB's Executive Director John Morrison was asked to speak on how to combat human trafficking in the context of business. He started by saying: 

"The UN Office on Drugs and Crime conservatively estimates that 2.5 million individuals around the world are the victims of human trafficking at any one time. In absolute terms, this figure is shocking but all the more so in a world where human exploitation has been diminishing.

"It is worth keeping in mind that only 250 years ago, 75% of the world’s population were the subjects of economic exploitation – as slaves, serfs or peasants tied to land they did not own. We need, as Adam Hochschild would put it, a similar business and human rights revolution to that which outlawed slavery from most of the world between 1780 and 1880. The challenge we have is that much contemporary human trafficking is insidiously hidden and wrapped into the complex set of relationships that define the modern era."

 

Read the full speech here.

Latest IHRB Publications

Rights and Wrongs - Questioning Free Expression in the Workplace

How can companies negotiate their way around deeply divisive political issues where their employees, contractors, suppliers, and associates may have strong convictions and opinions? Can companies keep politics out of their offices? Can they restrain...

17 September 2019

Commentary by Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

The Start of Modern Corporate Accountability Efforts - In Memory of Joel Filártiga

It is an unfortunate reality that when human rights defenders speak against their governments, they place themselves at risk of harm. Still, some choose to speak, and in doing so they change the course of history.

Dr Joel Filártiga was one such...

25 July 2019

Human Rights and the Built Environment - A Call for Action

Two-thirds of humanity are projected to live in urban areas by 2050. If we are to make progress in reducing global inequality and in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a rights-based approach to the built environment is critical. 

IHRB...