European Platform Against Trafficking in Human Beings

About trafficking

News | Engaging the private sector to end human trafficking


Amsterdam, 16 October 2015 – On the occasion of the European day against trafficking in human beings - held every year on 18 October - La Strada International and SOMO publish a resource guide for NGOs, entitled Engaging the Private Sector to End Human Trafficking. The role of businesses in human trafficking can range from being directly responsible for labour exploitation through coercive recruitment practices to being an important partner in prevention. The guide aims to provide NGOs with knowledge and tools to engage the private sector in their work by providing a wide selection of background materials, ranging from facts and figures to strategic advice.
European NGOs regularly come across cases of human trafficking and labour exploitation. In 2012, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that 880,000 people are in a situation of forced labour in the European Union (EU) alone. Forced labour and human trafficking occur across a wide variety of sectors in Europe, such as agriculture, construction, hospitality and care work. These sectors are largely dependent on migrant workers, who have less access to legal protection and also lack local support of friends and family.

Business, human rights and human trafficking
The United Nations (UN), ILO and EU are increasingly incorporating businesses in anti-trafficking work and regulation, and the UN Business and Human Rights framework has outlined clear responsibilities in this regard. Although the private sector has become seen as an important stakeholder in anti-trafficking work, European NGOs working in the field have as yet not started to fully engage corporations in their strategies and practices.

The Resource Guide
The Resource Guide aims to close that gap by providing guidance and background information for NGOs. Different vulnerable sectors and the role that corporations could potentially play in contributing to and preventing human trafficking are described. Steps are outlined that businesses can take to avoid contributing to human trafficking, based on existing guidelines and toolkits. The Guide explains UN, ILO and EU business and human rights frameworks and highlights their relevance to anti-trafficking work. Examples of private sector engagement from other NGO networks are given, ranging from campaigns for corporate justice and lodging complaints to NGO-business partnering and multi-stakeholder initiatives. The last chapter of the guide provides information on which strategies NGOs can pursue to engage the private sector to tackle human trafficking and to hold corporations accountable.
SOMO and LSI believe that there is a clear need to engage the private sector in anti-trafficking work. NGO’s should think strategically and critically about the role of corporations in preventing and addressing human trafficking and define how they want to engage with them.

Download the Resource Guide and Annex ‘Tools and Resources’.

More information
Suzanne Hoff (La Strada International): + 31 (0) 6 14444 066,
Katrin McGauran (SOMO): +31 (0)6 498 11 026, 
Resource guide ‘How to Engage the Private sector to end Human Trafficking’ 
The resource guide is launched in the framework of the project and is co-funded by the Prevention of and Fight Against Crime Programme of the European Union.

La Strada International is a European NGO network against trafficking in human beings.

SOMO (Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations) is an independent, not-for-profit research and network organisation working on social, ecological and economic issues related to sustainable development.


Latest news

Brief on the Impact of Covid-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in the EU

ICMPD has published a new policy brief on the Impact of COVID-19 on Ukrainian Labour Migrants in 4 European countries: the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Italy.

The policy brief scrutinises the main effects of the coronavirus pandemic on Ukrainian labour migrants. Labour migrants from Ukraine form the largest group of foreign workers in the European Union (EU) and large populations are working in Poland, Italy, Czech Republic and Hungary.

New EU Strategy on Victim's Rights

On June 24, the European Commission published its Strategy on Victims’ Rights (2020-2025) and promoting five key priorities.

ECHR publishes judgement on Article 4 - Prohibition of Slavery & Forced Labour

On June 25th, the Grand Chamber of the ECHR published its judgment in the case of S.M. v. Croatia finding unanimously, that there had been a violation of Article 4 (Prohibition of Slavery/Prohibition of Forced Labour) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

IOM and UN resumes resettlements

In a joint statement, the UN and IOM announced plans to restart resettlement processes. Due to Covid-19, there had been a temporary hold placed on resettlement travel. This delayed the departures of 10,000 refugees to resettlement countries.