Earlier this year the OGTAG (Oil and Gas Trafficking Advocacy Group) was formed out of a need to help combat sex trafficking in the industry. It's mission is to bring awareness to the O&G Industry for the prevention of sex trafficking in the US and abroad. The term “sex trafficking” not only references the people being sold, but people soliciting sex, or buyers, hence the need to address both the “supply” and “demand” side of the issue to combat trafficking.
Alexandria Gerbasi, Chief Administrative Officer of the OVS Group sees a great need for O&G companies to raise awareness about the issue to drive prevention.
At its recent meeting, Todd Latiolais, Associate Director of Prevention & Policy of The Texas Governor’s Office shared about Texas Legislation passed in 2015 to establish the Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership Program. This program was designed for businesses wishing to prevent and combat human trafficking by voluntarily enacting policies and measuring employee compliance to reduce demand. Participating Texas companies can apply for a Certificate of Recognition from the Secretary of State.
Mar Brettman, Founder & Executive Director of the BEST Alliance shared with the group the business risks trafficking poses, in addition to the harm it causes victims. He also provides strategies for addressing the issue, policies, employee communications, trainings, as well as how to engage other stakeholders to actively address human trafficking.
Several O&G Companies are joining the Human Trafficking Prevention Business Partnership Program and BEST Employer Alliance to combat human trafficking both locally and abroad as zero tolerance policies are rolled out to address human trafficking and sex buying. To facilitate this process, The Texas Governor’s Office and BEST Alliance are available to help companies enact policies. By raising awareness, we can reduce demand and curb “supply” which in this case is not a product, rather, human beings coerced and often-times trapped into the commercial sex industry.
iEmpathize produced a training video to highlight how trafficking presents itself within the O&G Industry. BOOM can be used to make a business case for raising awareness and enacting policies internally and externally to address trafficking.
OVS Group invites all O&G colleagues to join these efforts. The OGTAG meets bi-monthly in Houston. For more information about these efforts and more, please contact OGTAG@ovsgroup.com