Shutting down human trafficking around the world requires more than interdiction. Building awareness and informing the public are vital steps to curbing, and ultimately eliminating human trafficking.

Human trafficking is an increasingly illicit enterprise, and it’s estimated that today there are 40.3 million slaves worldwide.1 Human trafficking poses a significant, complex, and dynamic global social challenge. It nets an estimated $150 billion in profits for perpetrators each year, while exploiting millions of economically vulnerable men, women, and children across the globe.2

In 2015, the United Nations developed a group of 17 goals related to sustainable development. Among them is Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7, which calls for the eradication of forced labor, modern slavery, and human trafficking. Reaching that milestone requires more than legal systems and enforcement. It demands a deep understanding of the tools and methods traffickers use to exploit, operate, and evade. These trafficking networks are highly sophisticated, and efforts to detect illicit activity are likely not sufficient unless they are fully coordinated. Building awareness, developing cross-border partnerships, and informing the public are vital steps to combatting human trafficking.

For the past decade, Deloitte has contributed to the growing body of knowledge on the dynamics of human trafficking and shared leading practices on how businesses, agencies, nonprofits, and individuals can work to help put an end to human trafficking. Deloitte’s anti-human trafficking group has come together from all parts of the Deloitte ecosystem to leverage experience across supply chain, operations, strategy, analytics, and design thinking. The dozens of articles, thought leadership, and other material Deloitte has published are one important part of our role in informing efforts to help combat human trafficking. See below for a few examples:

Through conferences, task forces, and engagement, we continue to inform, refine, and improve our knowledge. As a constantly learning and evolving team, we then use our eminence to share those ideas and promote additional conversations on critical issues. For example, in 2019, Deloitte hosted a convening at American University’s School of International Service titled “Building an Inclusive Workforce of the Future,” to further the dialogue around the future of work and its impact on the unemployment and underemployment of marginalized populations. This event brought domestic and international nonprofits, direct service providers, private-sector actors, and government representatives together to discuss shared challenges and barriers experienced by survivors of trafficking, refugees, and formerly incarcerated persons. We then took this further by highlighting leading solutions to these barriers in our 2020 thought leadership on inclusive work.

In the same year, Deloitte North West Europe’s Sir Rob Wainwright hosted an open forum panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on helping global business leaders shape a more responsible business agenda in an effort to end human trafficking. By centering survivor experiences in both upstream prevention strategies and downstream recovery services, organizations can continue to move toward an end to human trafficking.

Deloitte Consulting LLP was honored to be recognized with the Excellence in Social & Community Investments Award by Consulting® Magazine for our pro bono work with the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery.

Read more about how Deloitte is helping organizations address human trafficking here.

What was the impact?
As an illicit activity, human trafficking is difficult to accurately monitor and track—precise data can be elusive, and measuring the impact of any mitigation effort is challenging. However, some organizations are questioning long-held “business as usual” ideas and are shaping a radically different vision of work. That includes changing workplaces and workforces to focus on purpose and social justice. To help ensure the future is more equitable and inclusive, survivors’ voices should continue to be elevated and amplified. Join us in thinking boldly about what is needed for governments, nonprofits, businesses, and global society to be successful in combatting human trafficking.

Want to learn more? Read more about what we are doing in the anti-human trafficking space

Working in the movement:
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Roundtable: Modern Slavery and COVID-19
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Task Force to Eradicate Human Trafficking

Building awareness:
Wall Street Journal: Businesses Step Up to Fight Human Trafficking
US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) & Polaris: Public Service Announcement
Deloitte Identified as a “Changemaker” in The Solution Revolution

Joining the conversation:
2019 Coca-Cola Engaging Business Forum: “The Future of Work and Human Rights”
2018 Freedom from Slavery Forum: “Operationalizing the Movement to End Forced Labor”
South by Southwest (SXSW) Freedom Ecosystem: “Slavery in the 21st Century”


Learn more about Deloitte’s engagements in addressing human trafficking here




1https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_575479/lang--en/index.htm
2https://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_243201/lang--en/index.htm

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