There are an estimated 2.4 million victims of human trafficking worldwide and it is an ongoing problem in the UK. Human trafficking comes in many forms and is most commonly cited in reference to trafficking for sexual exploitation. Trafficking also exists in many forms of labour exploitation. In the UK, agency workers in particular can be vulnerable in sectors including hospitality, restaurant and food production. Exploitation can also be found within global supply chains for retail goods such as textile, garments, agriculture and horticulture.
Take Action: Contact relevant local major tourism operators and ask them if they will sign up to the international child trafficking Code of Conduct which you can find here. Find the resources to send to a tourism operator here: letter, information sheet, application form
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Background Brief: Why are we campaigning on this issue?
A focus on the role that businesses can play in combating these problems is growing with the recognition of the steps they can take to prevent human trafficking by evaluating their supply chains in order to end sexual exploitation, forced labour, child labour and unscrupulous recruitment practices. In particular businesses can be affected in a number of ways: in practice through the recruitment, transport, harbouring, or receipt of a person for the purpose of exploitation; through their premises, products or services, for example, are used by traffickers for the purpose of trafficking – e.g. in the transport, tourism or hospitality sectors; and businesses can be indirectly linked to trafficking through the actions of their suppliers or business partners, including sub-contractors, labour brokers or private employment agencies.
Although the link may not be intended or even known, a clear violation of human rights has occurred if exploitation is involved, including forced labour or forms of sexual exploitation, or if deception, threats or the use of force has been used.
- According to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 2010 there were an estimated 2600 female adult victims of trafficking in England and Wales with 9600 women considered to be vulnerable to trafficking. The greatest numbers of adult victims come to the UK from China, South East Asia, and Eastern Europe.
- Reports from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre suggest there are on average around 300 child trafficking victims in the UK per annum. Child trafficking victims are brought to the UK for many purposes including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude. Most come from Vietnam, Nigeria, China and Eastern Europe.
- 1,000 businesses worldwide have signing up to the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct which relates specifically to child sexual exploitation. The Code is the only internationally accepted framework that requires businesses to crack down on the sexual exploitation of children. You can view the list here and the requirements of the Code here.