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Top corporations highlight ending human trafficking as "smart business"


( EHTN) - Top corporations gave the fight to eradicating human trafficking a boost on Friday. During a luncheon co-organized by End Human Trafficking Now (EHTN) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the "new champions" agreed that combating human trafficking was not only a moral issue, but  a win-win situation for businesses all round.


The luncheon, entitled "Ending Human Trafficking is Smart Business", was an opportunity for EHTN to introduce itself to a new audience, as an organization created by businesses for businesses. From Google to Exxon, participants from a wide business spectrum shared best practices and discussed how to move forward with the ethical value as an inherent part of their companies' corporate culture.


"Our aim is to jointly look for solutions to eliminate human trafficking, and share good practices and lessons learnt," said David Arkless, President EHTN Board, and President Government & Corporate Affairs, ManpowerGroup. "We understand the challenges businesses face in tackling this complex issue, and know that it is not a one shot affair but a work in progress. It can often take years."


The luncheon was held under the auspices of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, one of the main supporters of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund and a long-time advocate of the fight against trafficking.


"What is unavoidable is that economic pressure caused by the financial crisis will continue to fuel the problem of trafficking even further," said Mr. Abdulaziz Al-Nasser. "Businesses that operate under strict ethical rules are safer and more sustainable compared to those afflicted by trafficking and related abuses."


The meeting kept up its proactive spirit and closed with the announcement of the next Business Leader's Award ceremony, in Los Angeles, California, in December.


EHTN was among the first to not only bring the issue of human trafficking to the world community and mobilize the private sector in its entirety, but to also push for the adoption of the Athens Ethical Principles - a zero-tolerance commitment to tackle this crime. Together with UNODC, it has accelerated its reach with the corporate world to take the lead in addressing this problem since ethical business practice has proven to contribute to sustainable profits and economic advantage.