What can businesses do to combat slavery- the Mekong Club

In this interview with CNN, Matt Friedman provides an overview of how businesses can make a difference in the fight against human trafficking. He notes that business people will have technological know how and ideas that can provide a real difference. He uses the example of the iPhone app which helps police communicate with trafficked victims in order to identify where they are from and whether they are trafficked.

In Friedman’s words, the trafficking industry is estimated to be around $32 billion (although there has always been a problem with getting exact figures…after all, criminals dont normally declare their exact profits to tax collectors). However, only approximately $350 million has been allocated by international donors to fight trafficking. This may sound a lot compared to our annual salaries but that is peanuts when you take into account:

In USA alone, $6 billion is spent on potato chips a year. $1 billion is spent on chewing gum.

Those are very sobering figures. However, I like how he reminds us that there is need for more professions to engage with the issue of slavery- more lawyers, social workers, doctors, etc….

The Mekong Club is a great initiative in that it engages business people by encouraging them to produce their goods and services ‘trafficked-free’. By so doing, their products are certified as traffick-free as well. If you know of businesses who may like to engage in this type of initiatives in the Mekong Sub-region, get them to contact the Mekong Club!




“Justice is what love looks like in public”- The Mekong Club


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