Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading news and information provider, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation will host the second Trust Forum Asia conference in Singapore on April 28. Building on the strengths of the Trust Women Conference, the world’s leading anti-trafficking forum, Trust Forum Asia will bring together more than 200 business and thought leaders, together with human rights advocates and legal experts to explore real solutions to fight human trafficking and modern-day slavery across the region.
According to leading anti-slavery NGO Walk Free, approximately 36 million people around the world are enslaved, driving a growing industry that the International Labour Organisation believes to be worth over US$150 billion a year. With 60% of the world’s slaves in Asia, Trust Forum Asia aims to shed light on key issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region, from protecting migrant workers trapped in servitude, to achieving justice for those victims of trafficking, abuse and exploitation in the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. The event will also feature stories of survival and look at the key challenges and opportunities for corporations tackling the issue of forced labour in the supply chain.
Through dedicated “Action to Impact” circles, Trust Forum Asia delegates will be encouraged to forge tangible commitments and create actionable initiatives to address specific challenges posed by human trafficking and forced labour across the Asia-Pacific region.
Kevin Hyland, the United Kingdom’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissionerand Andrew Goledzinowski, Australian Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, will provide keynote remarks.
Speakers at the Forum will include:
“Slavery is the ultimate human rights abuse. Across Asia, millions of men, women and children are caught in forced labour and sex trafficking,” said Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Trust Forum Asia is a powerful platform to engage business leaders in the fight against this odious and lucrative crime. At a time when shareholders are increasingly vigilant over the socio-economic footprint of many corporations, this conference makes an important contribution to ensure that the fight against slavery is perceived both as a human rights priority, and a business imperative.”
Last month, the Thomson Reuters Foundation launched the Stop Slavery Award to honor businesses going above and beyond in their effort to clean supply chains from forced labour. In the form of artwork by Anish Kapoor, the Award aims to spark a virtuous cycle that will trigger more corporations to take action to investigate, improve, and eradicate unfair and illegal labour practices in their supply chains. The first Stop Slavery Awards will be presented on November 30 at the Trust Women Conference in London.
“The nature and complexity of slavery requires governments, regulators, corporations, and NGOs to take action to bring an end to trafficking which preys on Asia’s most vulnerable individuals. Trafficking and modern-day slavery remains highly lucrative. Blocking access to the financial system, using data and looking deep into supply chains are needed to end the exploitation of people for profit. Asia needs a strategy to fight this crime,” said Kimberley Cole, Head of Sales Specialists, Asia, Financial & Risk, Thomson Reuters.