Slavery still exists; we just call it “human trafficking” now. It is all around us, in the cities we live in and in the purchases we make. It is a crime prosecuted under criminal law and a flagrant violation of human rights. Human traffickers trick and take advantage of other people for their own financial gain.
It is estimated that there are 30 million “slaves” worldwide and that 5.5 million of them are children.
Human trafficking can take on many forms:
- Sexual exploitation
- Forced labour
- Forced begging
- Domestic servitude
- Child labour
- Early and/or forced marriage
- Human organ trafficking, etc.
- Victims’ vulnerability due to poverty, marginalization, financial exclusion, armed conflict, etc.
- (Usually the victims of human trafficking are also victims of social and racial discrimination, they belong to national minorities or vulnerable social groups, as is the case with women and children and the violation of their rights.)
- Demand in richer countries/urban areas, especially as regards to prostitution, labour and cheap products.
- Ignorance and insufficient information of consumers about the scourge of human trafficking.
How you can help:
There are some simple but important things that you can do in your daily life, in order to help eradicate human trafficking.
- The first is awareness. You now know more about the reality of this social phenomenon. Inform your friends and relatives, post about it on your social networks and keep up with the news.
- The second is to support organisations dealing with human trafficking. You can participate in awareness campaigns, volunteer or make a donation.
- The third is to support businesses that protect employees. Go for products that have been checked and certified as having been produced using proper labour standards, such as Fair Trade, Fair for Life, UTZ and Rainforest Alliance.
What do AB and the Delhaize Group do
AB Vassilopoulos supports the awareness campaign on Human Trafficking.
Our goal is to inform our employees and customers so that, together, we can fight against Human Trafficking.
Furthermore, we are willing and ready (in cooperation with the relevant organisations) to train and hire individuals that have managed to escape these conditions of modern slavery and who need help in their smooth reintegration into society.
Our goal for AB products is to work with suppliers who provide fair and dignified working conditions and accept social compliance inspections according to international standards. In 2014, 74.84% of products sold, originating from high risk countries, were checked by social compliance systems according to international standards.
If you see something, say something!
In Greece, the A21 Organisation is fighting against human trafficking. It helps and cares for individuals who were victims and managed to escape.
For this reason it has created a 24-hour nationwide reporting hotline (1109). At http://www.a21.gr you will find more information on the Organisation and the ways in which you can support this effort.