Companies and the process of THB for labour exploitation

On this page:

  • Work
  • Financial aspects


The work that victims do is a central element of the process of trafficking. It may give organisations useful starting points for an intervention. To prevent THB for labour exploitation, companies could:

Establish transparent employment relationships

Companies could for example choose to exclude sub-contracting employees, in order to prevent workers being underpaid. For more information, see the FRA report.

Adopt a (voluntary or non-binding) code of conduct

Such a code of conduct could be sector specific and could include minimum labour standards or procedures for ensuring compliance with standards. Companies can also make commitments to workers’ organisations or trade unions.

Develop guidelines for companies

Guidelines for companies and employers could help companies at risk of becoming affected by THB. The guidelines could give information on the consequences for a company that is being associated with THB for labour exploitation. Or information on how to tackle signs of THB for labour exploitation in the supply chain.

The Danish Centre against Human Trafficking has prepared guidelines for companies and employers that are at risk of becoming associated with forced labour and severe labour exploitation.

Read more information on the work-related aspects of THB for labour exploitation.

Financial aspects

Human trafficking perpetrators are mainly motivated by financial gains. THB for labour exploitation is a very profitable and lucrative business for criminals. A more effective use of financial investigations in THB cases is necessary to take away the criminal proceeds, since this will hurt the criminals the most.

It is in the interest of all companies that want to earn a living in an honest, responsible way that they try to prevent and fight THB for labour exploitation. If not, they will face unfair competition. Companies that use the labour of a victim of THB (either themselves or somewhere along their supply chain) have an unfair advantage over companies that keep their supply chain clean.

Regarding the financial aspects of THB for labour exploitation, companies could:

Make use of all available information

The OSCE recommends that companies use all available information, including internal audits and financial reporting, to identify whether trafficked labour is used at any stage of their local and/or global supply chain. (See Read more below.)

Report suspicious activities

Banks could help to identify THB for labour exploitation. For example, when they notice that dozens of people have bank accounts at the same address, when it would be unlikely that all these people are living there at the same time. They could send such a notification to the authorities.

Read more

Read general information on the financial aspects of THB for labour exploitation.