Sex trafficking — including sex buying — poses a risk to employers and harms vulnerable people in our community. Employers have many policies and procedures in place to protect the company and employees from certain behaviors that create a hostile work environment, hurt the company’s reputation, reduce employee productivity, or place the company at legal or financial risk. National survey results by Demand Abolition show that up to 20% of adult men ages 18-64 have bought sex or would buy sex if the circumstances were right. 35% of men have searched online sex ads but failed to act on the desire. Data suggests that most men shop online ads during the workday, and many prostitution transactions take place on the way to work, during lunch, or after work. Some transactions occur at the place of business or are set up using work issued property (e.g. cell phones, computers, credit cards, or vehicles). Employers can create policies that help to mitigate the potential risk and protect employees from harm.
The corporate sector can play a critical role in helping to combat sex trafficking. Major transportation brands and corporations are positioned to leverage their industry leadership and economic influence to raise awareness to the issue – lending their support to efforts to create a culture and community that doesn’t tolerate sex buying.
There are many points of entry for the private sector to participate in a business initiative. Examples of opportunities private sector organizations have considered and/or undertaken include:
UPS is working to combat human trafficking through employee awareness, driver training, survivor employment and philanthropic investment. UPS adopted an enterprise-wide Anti-Trafficking in Persons Policy, which strictly prohibits the use of any UPS assets or resources for any purpose that would enable the trafficking of persons. UPS is a proud Freedom Driver-Level Supporter of Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and a partner of the DHS Blue Campaign. In 2017, UPS launched the transportation industry’s largest anti-human trafficking awareness initiative, reaching more than 96,000 drivers throughout the U.S. Plans are underway to institutionalize this training for all new UPS drivers. UPS also supports TAT with quarterly in-kind transportation of TAT’s Freedom Drivers Project. UPS Freight President, Richard McArdle, joined TAT’s Board of Directors in 2018. Additionally, UPS has teamed up with Wellspring, a Georgia based survivor’s advocacy program, to provide employment opportunities to survivors of human trafficking. The Company is also leveraging the power of corporate philanthropy to invest in organizations like the United Way Worldwide’s Center on Human Trafficking and Slavery and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. These funds will be used to launch community education programs in local cities and to study the impact of human trafficking on diverse communities.
Amazon adopted a policy to deter sex trafficking: ‘It is against Amazon’s policy for any employee or Contingent Worker to engage in any sex buying activities of any kind in Amazon’s workplace or in any work-related setting outside of the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings or business-related social events.’ When Amazon suspects that an employee has used company funds or resources to engage in criminal conduct, the company will immediately investigate and take appropriate action up to and including termination. The company may also refer the matter to law enforcement.”
Caesar’s made their commitment public: “We continue to strongly support eliminating human trafficking – which involves commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor and debt bondage. Our stated commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons is available on our website. During the past year, we have been an active voice, working with advocacy groups and national collaborative frameworks to advance awareness and drive the elimination of human trafficking. For example, we participate in the American Gaming Association (AGA) CSR Committee whose focus included addressing human trafficking. Specifically, we became a founding partner of the Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST) Employers Alliance formed in September 2015. BEST is the first public-private partnership in the nation to work across industries to prevent sex trafficking and sex buying. The BEST Employers Alliance supports participating employers as they adopt appropriate policies protecting their businesses from the risks posed by sexual exploiters.”