Want to Help Trafficking Survivors? Give them Jobs - FreedomUnited.org

Want to Help Trafficking Survivors? Give them Jobs

  • Published on
    November 16, 2017
  • Written by:
    Jamison Liang
  • Category:
    Supply Chain, Survivor Stories, Worker Empowerment
Hero Banner

Businesses around the world are emerging as employers of survivors of human trafficking. Often it is opportunities like these that help survivors get back on their feet or help prevent vulnerable individuals from being trafficked.

Outland Denim is one such company that employs vulnerable women in Southeast Asia, paying them a living wage and giving them a sustainable career. Speaking to Racked, Outland CEO James Bartle explained the purpose behind the business:

Bartle says that giving women the opportunity to become skilled workers earning a fair wage is crucial because many trafficking victims are lured into slavery with false promises of employment.

“They’ll move to another country to get this job that’s been promised, and they get there and are held as a slave,” he says. “We had a girl promised a job at a hotel in Malaysia. They took her into Malaysia and then locked her in jail for being an illegal immigrant. Other girls get stuck in brothels, and it’s hell for them.”

Other “profit-for-purpose” companies like Purpose Jewelry, Malia Designs, and Elegantees are also helping victims of trafficking.

Wendy Dailey, president and cofounder of International Sanctuary and Purpose Jewelry, says her organization works directly with organizations that provide trafficking survivors with shelter and basic emergency services. Once the women are ready, her business can help with steady employment. “The social workers come to us… and we provide thorough training of jewelry-making as the conduit to be able to build relationships, establish trust, and to create a safe environment where they can learn from each other,” she said.

Leaders of all of these companies say they want consumers to buy their products because they are well-designed and high quality. The fact that they are helping trafficking survivors is an added bonus.

“A pity purchase isn’t going to be sustainable for the girls and the survivors. The strength of the brand is going to allow us to transform lives. As far as being a strong brand — that’s really what we’re after,” added Dailey.

Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This week

Migrant workers jailed in Qatar over demands for owed wages

Five months on from the World Cup final, migrant workers continue to report exploitative labor practices and mistreatment at the hands of Qatari authorities. Three former security guards have been jailed in Qatar for four months following their repeated requests for unpaid wages from their employer, Stark Security Services. Though lauded by FIFA as an opportunity to improve Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers, workers who toiled to make the world’s

| Friday May 26, 2023

Read more