SAN FRANCISCO, July 26, 2017 - Major global companies have renewed their commitment to the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (gBCAT) through an expanded membership and scope of work. Formed in 2010, gBCAT has provided a unique forum for business to understand how all forms of modern slavery affect their operations and supply chains, and to design effective and pragmatic solutions to combat traffickers. BSR—a global nonprofit organization dedicated to sustainable business—has been appointed secretariat of the initiative.
Under its new scope of work, gBCAT will capitalize on the major organizational strengths, resources, and reach of global businesses to accelerate progress on human trafficking. Through three work streams, members will share learnings through webinars and in-person meetings; develop a Research Lab to incubate ideas, publish reports, and identify areas for action; and publicize findings through an enhanced Public Platform. Issues to be addressed include employee or sub-contractor training programs, company policies, and best practices in reporting around the U.K. Modern Slavery Act.
The members of gBCAT are determined to take a proactive approach to end human trafficking, which remains widespread and difficult to uncover. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that around 21 million people globally are victims of human trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Others including the Global Slavery Index estimate the number of victims to be at nearly 46 million people. Modern slavery is estimated to be the third-largest international crime industry, ranking only behind illegal drugs and arms, and earning roughly US$150 billion a year for traffickers globally.
Global businesses committed to ending all forms of modern slavery are invited and encouraged to join gBCAT. Current members include The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Google, Kering, NXP Semiconductor, LexisNexis, Carlson, Delta, Beacon Global Group, Boost Technologies, and Arklight Consulting.
Dawn Conway, Co-Founder of gBCAT and President of Boost Technologies, reflected on the progress of the group since its inception. "The business community has a critical role to play and needs to be part of the solution,” Conway remarked. “Joining forces with BSR will further gBCAT's mission to mobilize the power, resources, and thought leadership of the business community to end human trafficking."
“As a gBCAT member we are very pleased to see that the great work started amongst its members since 2010 will continue within BSR,” remarked Brent Wilton, Director of Global Workplace Rights at The Coca- Cola Company. “Forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery are issues for all companies everywhere, but it will only be through focused and cooperative means that it will be effectively eliminated. gBCAT provides just such an engagement platform.”
Peter Nestor, Associate Director for Human Rights at BSR, commented: “BSR is delighted to be appointed secretariat for this major initiative. Members of gBCAT have consistently demonstrated a serious commitment to tackling one of the world’s biggest challenges, and we look forward to working with them and facilitating this progress.”