Assess Human Trafficking/Forced Labor in Supply Chain
2016 – United Continental Holdings, Inc.
WHEREAS: Human trafficking is the act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. The U.S. Department of State has emphasized the importance of training for individuals who may encounter victims of human trafficking, and has identified transportation professionals as being particularly well-placed to identify trafficking victims.
According to the International Labor Organization's most recent global estimate, there are at least 20.9 million victims of forced labor, trafficking, and slavery in the world today; globally 2.4 million people are victims of trafficking at any given time. In the United States, over 100,000 children each year are at risk of being exploited by human trafficking.
Trafficking victims are often hidden in plain view. The airline industry has the potential to play a vital role in identifying and assisting these victims. Since its creation, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) has over 20,000 victims identified.
Delta’s president Ed Bastian states “As one of the largest transportation companies in the world, Delta takes seriously the responsibility to raise awareness and educate employees about this human rights violation. We are committed to combating human trafficking, including training our employees and giving them the resources needed to identify and report all potential cases of human trafficking – our responsibilities extend beyond running a safe operation.”
Failure to address the risks of human trafficking in its operations, places United behind its peers. Other companies in the airline industry, such as Delta and American, address the issue through training for staff and providing resources to combat human trafficking. United’s publically available reporting does not indicate any such efforts.
We believe a company associated with incidents of human trafficking or child sex exploitation could suffer substantial negative financial impacts, as well as loss of reputation and adverse publicity. We believe commercial advantages may accrue to our company by adopting a more extensive policy addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and by promoting training and programs to combat trafficking.
RESOLVED: The shareholders request that the Board of Directors prepare a report on the implementation of a program to address human trafficking internally and in its supply chain, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary/confidential information, and provide the report to shareholders by November 30, 2016.
Supporting Statement: We believe the report should be comprehensive, transparent, and verifiable, and we request that it address the following:
A statement of company policy on human trafficking,
An overview of employee and customer awareness, supply chain programs, education and training on the issue of human trafficking,
A plan for communicating information to customers,
Methods of informing employees of “key persons” at any destination who can address the issue, and Annually publish a progress report prepared.