Human trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to compel a person into any form of labor against their will.
Organized labor in Washington state is trying to raise awareness about human trafficking and about solutions for its prevention and eradication. To that end, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, encourages all to attend the University of Washington’s 2013 Human Trafficking Conference, which begins Friday, Jan. 11. (Click here to register.) This event is open to the public.
“Human Trafficking in an Era of Globalization: Forced Labor, Involuntary Servitude, and Corporate & Civic Responsibility” is an international conference on Jan. 11-12 that will examine the root causes of human trafficking and develop strategies to fight it. Hosted by the UW Women’s Center, UW School of Law and Seattle University School of Law, the agenda will encompass the true scope of the problem — including the many forms of forced labor and will seek to connect the dots between the push/pull factors that have allowed the industry to flourish and leave millions of people brutalized around the world.
The 2010 Trafficking In Persons report released by the U.S. Department of State found that labor trafficked victims are forced to work in primarily in construction, manufacturing, health care and elder care, janitorial service, hotel services, domestic service (housekeeper or nanny), agriculture, and other industries that we encounter on a daily basis. The International Labor Organization estimates that the cost of forced labor to the workers in lost wages globally is nearly $31 billion each year. Human trafficking is now the second largest and fastest growing illegal industry in the world.
At the Washington State Labor Council’s 2012 Constitutional Convention in Wenatchee, delegates passed Resolution 32 regarding human trafficking, which calls for the WSLC to urge its affiliated unions to support this conference, to send representatives of local unions, and to consider providing financial assistance for this important event.
Get more information about the UW conference.
If you suspect human trafficking and would like to make a tip, please call 888-3737-888. This 24-hour hotline is a service of the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network (WARN), a coalition of non-governmental organizations that provide direct services to victims of human trafficking in Washington state. WARN provides free and confidential services to any victim of trafficking in Washington State. For more information, visit WARN’s website or call 206-245-0782.
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