As the world turns its attention to the problem of modern slavery and human trafficking, it is worth taking a moment to look back on this year to see what progress has been made.
Thomson Reuters Foundation has compiled five of the biggest steps in the anti-slavery movement:
- Landmark slavery data from the U.N. International Labour Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation estimates that there are 40.3 million people in modern slavery today. It marks the first time the two organizations have collaborated to produce a common methodology and estimate.
- France, the Netherlands, and Australia follow in the UK’s footsteps to introduce anti-slavery legislation that asks companies to report on how they are addressing modern slavery. Australia is set to draft its own version of the UK Modern Slavery Act early next year.
- The UN Security Council passed a resolution to crack down on human trafficking worldwide. Footage of Libyan slave markets where African migrants were sold for forced labor sparked outrage across the globe and prompted the UN to investigate whether this constitutes a crime against humanity.
- Companies are stepping up to investigate and root out abuses in their own supply chains. Adidas and Intel were two of the companies who won this year’s Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award for their efforts.
- Flight crews and health workers join the fight to stop trafficking. At least 70,000 U.S. airline staff have been trained to spot traffickers and their victims under the Blue Lightning scheme, a program supported by JetBlue and Delta.Emirates, AirAsia, and Aeromexico are also training their flight crews on how to deal with human trafficking.