THE MAGAZINE

Tier Pressure to Curb Human Trafficking

By Laura Spadanuta

Multinational companies sponsoring the Olympics or working on related construction projects also “have a responsibility to use their wide visibility to put pressure on the Russian government and Russian businesses” to address the problem, says Lagon.

Tne NGO that organizes such pressure is the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a coalition of primarily faith-based institutions that invest in publicly traded companies. These institutions, working through the ICCR, use their shareholder status to try to change company policies related to human rights and other areas. The group also considers the ramifications a company’s operations and supply chains might have on human rights.

For example, ICCR sent an investor statement to participating corporate sponsors of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa asking them to scrutinize hotels where they were staying to make sure that those hotels had policies and training to pinpoint and prevent sexual exploitation of children, says David Schilling, senior program director for the ICCR.

The group has since done the same for the Super Bowl. Schilling adds that leading up to the London Olympics in 2012, the group sent letters to 20 major sponsors outlining the ICCR’s position. Those letters resulted in good conversations with the companies about what those organizations could do to address sex trafficking and slavery throughout their supply chains. ICCR also worked with groups to prevent labor trafficking in preparation for the Olympics.

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