Safe Horizon Supports U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney Bipartisan Bill to Fight Human Trafficking
Posted on: Thursday, August 4, 2011
L to R: Cheryl Queen, VP of Compass Group,, Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang, U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney , New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York City Council Member Rosie Mendez
Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang joined U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) on August 3, 2011 at City Hall to introduce a new bill, the Business Transparency on Trafficking & Slavery Act, which would require companies to disclose any measures taken to identify and address instances of human trafficking, slavery and child labor in their supply chains. The legislation, cosponsored by Reps. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), would require companies to include such disclosures in their annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and would also be prominently posted on SEC and company websites for public access.
Joining Maloney and Zwang at City Hall were New York City Council Members Dan Garodnick, Rosie Mendez, and Margaret Chin; Cheryl Queen, VP of Compass Group, a food-services firm that has taken a leadership role in fighting slave labor in its supply chain; and Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT USA.
“Human trafficking is the slavery of the 21st century. It is estimated that nearly 12.3 million people are working in some form of forced labor worldwide. We have seen a global shift in trafficking in weapons and drugs to trafficking in children and humans. Drugs and guns can be used only once, but the human body can be used over and over again. We must use every tool available to help men, women, and children around the world who are enslaved,” said Maloney.
Representative Maloney’s bill will force large U.S. companies to take affirmative steps to ensure that imported goods are not produced by victims of trafficking, child labor or other human rights violations.
“Once this legislation is passed, international companies will have to tell the world what they are doing to ensure that their labor practices are fair and free of human trafficking. With this bill, companies can’t look the other way, and should take positive steps to assure consumers and workers alike that they have made sure that everyone in their employ is treated fairly. We thank Rep. Maloney and her colleagues for their continued leadership in this area, and Safe Horizon pledges to vigorously support this effort in the coming months,” said Zwang.
Safe Horizon is the nation’s leading victim assistance organization and one of the largest service providers for victims of human trafficking. Safe Horizon partners with federal and local law enforcement to hold perpetrators accountable to ensure clients receive all of the protections to which they are entitled. The organization offers case management, legal services and temporary shelter to hundreds of victims of trafficking from all over the world. For more information about the Safe Horizon Anti-Trafficking Program, please visit http://www.safehorizon.org/trafficking.