InterContinental Hotels Group, whose Americas office is in the Perimeter area, has since 2014 required its hotels to have a human rights policy and has developed posters to increase awareness among employees of signs of human trafficking. It has also developed a code of conduct for suppliers, and is developing new guidelines against forced labor.
Sandy Springs-based UPS works with nonprofit Truckers Against Trafficking and has trained drivers to keep an eye out for human trafficking, and is also working with Wellspring.
“I’ll be honest. It took a while for us to get this through our compliance team. They are concerned about what this looks like,” said UPS Foundation director of global employee engagement Laura Johns at the Rotary event. “People are uncomfortable when you talk about this, but you have to help them understand why.”
A trucker who was previously a police officer delivered a TED@UPS talk last year on encountering a "tattered and torn" young woman at a truck stop who he realized was being forced to work as a prostitute.
Brent Wilton, director of global workplace rights at Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, is focused on the beverage company’s vast supply chain -- including at its independent bottlers -- with sourcing from an estimated 5 million farms.
“We have to get ahead of this. Just like we have to get ahead of being accused of being generally a human rights abuser,” Wilton said at the Rotary event. “For us it’s a labor problem.” He said the company has done studies on forced labor and child labor in the sugar industry, but “we haven’t finished looking yet.”
“No one can stand up here today and say, ‘I have no forced labor in my supply chain or in my business,’ unless you can prove that you’ve looked and verified. Because we all may have it,” Wilton said.