Industry and Experts Engage at Labor Trafficking Conference

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The International Stability Operations Association - American Bar Association “Combating Labor Trafficking” Conference was held on 1 May 2012, marking a highly successful exchange of ideas between government, private industry, and non-governmental actors.

It is encouraging to see all sectors collaborating with ideas and techniques aimed at eradicating labor trafficking worldwide.

The International Stability Operations Association - American Bar Association “Combating Labor Trafficking” Conference was held on 1 May 2012, marking a highly successful exchange of ideas between government, private industry, and non-governmental actors. The conference drew participants together from a diverse range of backgrounds to discuss the complex issue of labor trafficking, while working towards an integrative solution by offering unique opportunities for cross-sector discussions.    

The conference commenced with Ambassador Luis CdeBaca’s highly informative morning keynote address, in which he stressed the need for cooperation between government and private sectors to develop viable strategies to fight labor trafficking. Following Ambassador CdeBaca’s address, the morning panelists spoke extensively on existing anti-trafficking legal and compliance frameworks, and the strengths and weakness of different sectors’ approaches to combating labor trafficking. The panelists from DynCorp International, the Department of Justice, and the Protection Project and Freedom Network also discussed the need to include corporate social responsibility as a facet of the fight.     

The second morning panel shifted the focus to the motivation and methodology of businesses that knowingly employ trafficked laborers. Representing Compliance Consulting Services, the Department of Justice, and Global Centurion Foundation, the panel focused on the need to identify recruiting agents and develop clear guidelines for discerning trafficking victims.     

Award-winning investigative journalist E. Benjamin Skinner delivered a powerful lunch keynote address, discussing both the endemic nature of trafficking and the need for corporations to take responsibility for its existence in their supply chains. Following Skinner’s address, the first afternoon panelists maintained the excitement and momentum of the morning’s discussions. Representatives from Humanity United, the Departments of State and Defense, and Third Space Creative delivered incisive presentations on mechanisms for exploiting the weaknesses of traffickers and maximizing recourse under current law. The final panel, in which members of USIAD, the Open Society Foundation, FSI Worldwide, and International Relief and Development presented, looked to the future of efforts to combat labor trafficking, discussing innovations in law and compliance mechanisms.     

Doug Brooks, ISOA President, summarized the lively interaction throughout the conference. “The Combating Labor Trafficking conference speakers and panelists represented an unusual and eclectic mix of private industry representatives, non-governmental groups, and government regulatory agencies,” he said. “The results have been energizing. There is a clear interest in maximizing the value of a multi-sectoral approach. It is encouraging to see all sectors collaborating with ideas and techniques aimed at eradicating labor trafficking worldwide.”

About ISOA

ISOA is the international trade association of the stability operations industry, promoting ethics and standards worldwide and advocating for effective utilization of private sector services. ISOA members are leaders in the industry and are supported by ISOA's outreach, education and government affairs initiatives.

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