Warning – if you’re of a sensitive disposition, or can’t tolerate women with strong opinions, look away now.
Today is Anti-Slavery Day. Slavery is still very much with us, and closer than you might think. Unless you’ve had your head in the sand it would be hard to have missed recent news stories such as this one about a 10 year old girl trafficked into the UK to be used as a servant, and then exploited in every way imaginable.
So, have you been turning a blind eye?
It doesn’t often happen that my professional and personal interests come together. Yes I find legal compliance fascinating, and am bloody good at it. But I’m also passionate about human rights, specifically human trafficking. Not being one to beat around the bush – I care VERY deeply about preventing the trafficking of women, children and adult males for sexual exploitation. So there. It’s out. I’m a feminist who wants to see an end to slavery. Who wants to see those people who traffick vulnerable people put behind bars. And don’t get me started on those who exploit the victims whilst they’re caught in the system. Yep – if for instance you’re a punter and you’re using a prostitute who you suspect has been trafficked and is working against her will, you’re guilty too.
Anyway, back to the story. Yesterday afternoon I was fortunate enough to attend the Finance Against Trafficking conference. It was one of those rare occasions where my personal and professional passions met, where you knew you were surrounded by like minded people, and where the things you’re interested in aren’t considered taboo subjects. Oh the relief! I’m going to be writing a few blog posts about the areas covered during the conference over the next few weeks, but one thing I will say now is that as a business, you ought to start thinking about human trafficking. Whether you’re a sole trader or huge corporation, it’s not something you can ignore any longer. And yes that includes law firms. If you think that it doesn’t apply to your firm, think again. I know for a fact that traffickers try to legitimise illegal trafficking arrangements by using solicitors to draft contracts with trafficking victims for instance. And that that will be just the tip of the iceberg. Much more on the role of law firms in future posts though.
In the meantime, please do take a look at the Finance Against Trafficking website. They’re doing a sterling job, and are lovely people to boot.