Human Trafficking in the Supply Chain

Human Trafficking in the Supply Chain


Did you know manufacturing is the third largest risk area for forced labor?

APICS Greater Detroit mission is to serve our local supply chain community with information and education needed to be successful in our ever changing world.

Last week in our Supply Chain Community Connect we heard from Alyssa Rollins, Executive VP APICS Greater Detroit, on the Michigan human trafficking task force and important information regarding human trafficking in supply chains.

Per the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force, human trafficking is legally defined as a form of modern-day slavery. It is a crime under international law, federal and the State of Michigan as well as each individual state in the United States. The term “severe forms of trafficking in persons” is the statement reflecting how serious it is for it to be slavery and includes both sex and labor trafficking.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline reported 11,500 cases of human trafficking in 2019 and Michigan had the 7th highest amount at 364 cases reported.

The Federal anti-trafficking law, Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) was put in place in 2000 and revised in 2003, 2008, and 2013. An annual report, TIP, is a valuable research tool that is published annually in June describing anti-trafficking efforts in over 180 countries in the world as well as giving explicit recommendations on needed progress. Each country is then rated on a Tier systems of 1, 2, 2 1/2 or 3. The U.S. Secretary of State is responsible for this report.

Types of human trafficking include:

  • SEX TRAFFICKING is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person included to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. (22 USC 5 7102(9) ),
  • LABOR TRAFFICKING is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.(22 USC 5 7102(O) ).
  • Force, fraud, and coercion include threats, either physical or psychological, in which a victim has a belief that the person has the capability of performing such an act.
  • Commercial sex act means anything of value is given to or received by any person.
  • A minor in federal law is anyone under the age of 18 and force, fraud, and coercion are not included as elements. Consent is not an issue.

Myths about human trafficking:

  • Only undocumented foreign nationals get trafficking in the United States.
  • Traffickers target victims they do not know.
  • If the trafficked person consented to be in their initial situation, then it cannot be human trafficking or against their will because they “knew better.”
  • People being trafficked are physically unable to leave their situations/locked in/held against their will and they always want help getting out.

Human trafficking in the supply chain:

  • Unknowingly, we eat, wear and use products made from slavery every day.
  • Slave made products make up a small proportion of imported/American-made goods.
  • Manufacturing is the third largest risk area for forced labor (behind domestic work and construction).
  • Debt bondage is the most frequent form of forced labor in Manufacturing.

How can you help?

  • Resources:
    • Read The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales, visit the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force Facebook page, Polaris Human Trafficking website, TIP report.
    • Visit Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force Website:
  • Talk to at least 4 people about the myths of human trafficking
  • Supply chain
    • Buy Fair Trade goods (coffee, chocolate, nuts, bananas, etc.)
    • Clothes from companies with vertically integrated supply chains
  • Share the 1-888-373-7888 human trafficking hot line number.
  • Volunteer for mentoring or donate money/items to Vista Maria and Sanctum House.
  • Donate to Southeast Michigan organizations supporting human trafficking survivors:

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