Migrant Workers

Combatting Human Trafficking

Speech, 10 October 2012

By John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB


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.

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