Jones Day and Rotary Action Group Against Slavery Launch Global Compendium on Human Trafficking Laws
The global law firm Jones Day and Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) today announced the launch of a Global Compendium of Laws on human trafficking. The Compendium is the first standardized collection of the relevant laws, on a country-by-country basis, in this critical field. It will be an enormous asset in the fight against trafficking and modern slavery and comes at a particularly important time.
"We are proud to join forces with RAGAS and are extraordinarily grateful for the pro bono contributions from the corporate co-authors—including a number of Jones Day clients—in assembling this collection of laws," said Laura Ellsworth, Partner-in-Charge of Global Community Service Initiatives at Jones Day. "The Compendium is a fantastic resource for anyone working on human trafficking around the world, including across borders, governments that are looking for compacts with other countries, and countries that have no established trafficking laws but want them. It will be made available to all who want to help solve the scourge of forced labor and sex trafficking."
Human trafficking is occurring at an alarming rate throughout the world, and particularly now at the Ukraine borders. Moreover, as stated in the U.S. State Department 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report, "COVID-19 generated conditions that increased the number of people who experienced vulnerabilities to human trafficking and interrupted existing and planned anti-trafficking interventions. Governments across the world diverted resources toward the pandemic, often at the expense of anti-trafficking efforts."
"This is a game changer in the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery," said Dave McCleary, Global Chair, Rotary Action Group Against Slavery. "We extend our sincere gratitude to Jones Day and all of the corporate co-authors for their initiative and hard work in creating the Compendium. It demonstrates a significant private-sector commitment of resources and fills a void in the arsenal of anti-trafficking efforts."
The Compendium was launched at an event held in conjunction with the 2022 Rotary International Convention, hosted by the city of Houston, which drew more than 20,000 community leaders from local clubs throughout the world. Participants heard from local and international authorities on human trafficking.
"The Compendium increases our collective knowledge on anti-trafficking laws, it organizes that knowledge in a clear and useful structure, and it centralizes the information in a way that is really pioneering," said Val Richey, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Representative for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings. "It's also a great example of the evolving role of private companies and civil society, and that they are taking in this fight—stepping outside traditional notions of the private sector and stepping into a broad-based and collaborative effort to end human exploitation."
John Richmond, former United States Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, observed that the Global Compendium will "actually help us deliver on those protections that we need to provide."
Tim Nelson, CEO, Hope for Justice, added that the abolition community owes "a debt of gratitude" for the "hard work" that Jones Day, RAGAS, and all contributors put into the compendium.
Matt Friedman, CEO, The Mekong Club—a membership-based business association dedicated to breaking the cycle of modern slavery—said the Global Compendium is an important and monumental contribution that will "really make a difference in addressing modern slavery."
Rotary International is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization. Membership is by invite and based on various social factors. There are over 46,000 member clubs worldwide, with a membership of 1.4 million individuals, known as Rotarians.