Seafood Giant Cuts Ties with Human Trafficker

Thai Union Frozen Products, Thailand’s largest seafood company, has announced that it will sever ties with one of its suppliers because of its forced labor practices. The decision follows an Associated Press report detailing abusive conditions on a fleet of fishing boats in the region. Also in response to the AP investigation, the Thai government is pledging to step up prosecutions of traffickers.

Trafficking is a human rights catastrophe, enslaving millions of children, women, and men. It’s also one of the world’s most lucrative criminal enterprises, yielding an estimated $150 billion dollars in annual profits. Often, companies unwittingly enable trafficking by relying on businesses that use forced labor.

The decision by Union Frozen Products demonstrates the vital role that businesses can play in combating trafficking. The seafood giant has $3.5 billion in annual sales, making it a significant target for criminals. The loss in illicit revenue combined with increased risk in the form of expanded prosecutions changes the equation for traffickers. Union Frozen Product’s actions should stand as an example for businesses worldwide.

But ideally, businesses won’t wait for the media to reveal their connections with traffickers, but will proactively make sure their supply chains are clean. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse.

That’s why we’re enlisting U.S. corporate executives in an effort to combat human trafficking. They’re part of an advocacy and public awareness campaign that also includes leaders from government, law enforcement, the military, and the nonprofit sector. Together we’re working to bankrupt the business of human trafficking. Find out more by checking out our blueprint.

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Published on April 3, 2015

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