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Empowering businesses to create a slave-free world
LocationChina - Hong Kong SAR
Issue AreaCivil Society
Tax benefit eligibilityUS
Amount NeededGeneral Support Needed
2022 North American Speaking Tour: Canada and the USA Fundraising Drive
Modern Slavery and the Private Sector
The issue of modern slavery in North America is a very sensitive topic within the private sector. Many companies don’t want to believe that modern slavery could be a part of their supply chains. Others recognize the problem, but don’t know how to get started solving it. Still others are unsure of the quality of their anti-slavery systems relative to their peers and don’t know how to improve their policies and procedures. But with a range of new legislation related to modern slavery globally and within North America, increasing numbers of lawsuits against corporations, and wider media attention, ignoring this issue is not an option.
The reality is that modern slavery—such as forced labor and debt bondage—is part of every economy. Most North American businesses would be horrified to learn that their products were made by slaves someplace in the world, and that their construction and mining sites could be using slave labor. That traffickers could be laundering money through their bank.
Proposed Road Trip Across Canada and the USA
To make sense of this important topic and its relevance to the private sector in North America, a second road trip across Canada and the USA from September 10 to October 25, 2022 will be carried out to reach out to businesses, universities, faith-based groups, NGOs, Rotary Clubs, and the general public. The area to visit are Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Raleigh, Washington, D.C, and Pittsburgh.
The plan is to offer 80 presentations to over 3,000 participants. The topics covered in each presentation will include the following:
The Mekong Club is seeking donations to cover the expenses for the trip.
About The Mekong Club
The Mekong Club is a non-profit organization that uses private sector approaches because we believe that these tactics have the greatest chance of impact – and that the private sector has the desire to stop slavery. We focus on systemic change because we seek to permanently break the cycle of modern slavery. We collaborate because we know that we are stronger when we work together rather than when we ‘name and shame’ one another. We are ambitious because we know our work is urgent- and that it affects the lives of the most vulnerable people among us.
We bring years of experience working with companies and their many dedicated employees, providing practical tools, strategic thinking and a forum to join together and stop slavery in our lifetime. Our partners include many of the largest companies in the world as well as committed regional and local corporations.
Much of our work consists of technology-based tools with enormous potential for impact. Each of these tools solves a major problem in supply chain slavery- from auditors who do not speak the local dialect of factory workers, to under-utilized and disaggregated data, to falsified employment contracts. All of our tools are operational and have been piloted; resources are needed in order to take them to scale- both here in Asia and around the world. We also harness people-power, because we know that it is individual decisions that have the biggest impact on modern slavery. We build much-needed awareness, commitment and collaboration among the business community using slavery committees for finance, footwear, apparel, hospitality and retail sectors.
We must recognize an important truth. Modern slavery is a part of our global economy. There are children working in garment factories that make the clothing we wear. There are women who harvest the vegetables we eat who are never paid for their labor, and who are sexually assaulted if they complain. There are young men, tricked into debt bondage, who are locked into construction sites at night. A staggering 40 million people are trapped in modern slavery, with 16 million of these victims directly related to the private sector. Current efforts by governments, the United Nations and NGOs help a meager 0.2% of victims each year. Modern slavery is one of the most important moral issues of our time- and one that we have the power to change if we harness the will, resources and know-how to do so.
Call to Action
We rely on the generosity from others to do our work. To implement the program efforts, The Mekong Club is seeking funding support. This will allow us to take our existing efforts and scale them to the maximum number of victims. With the world The Mekong Club has done, we have already helped thousands of people out of slavery. Your support will allow you to become a partner in this new innovative pioneering process. Please consider assisting us. By doing so, you are doing a heroic act.
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