A Powerful Role: How Business Fights Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is one of the biggest travesties in our world today. Countless nonprofits, law enforcement units, and governments are taking a stand to address this global humanitarian crisis. Yet, where does business fit into the bigger picture? If you are a business person with a heart to do something to fight human trafficking, you can actually play a much bigger role than you may think.

Not For Sale: “Business Can Change the Tide Against Modern Slavery”

You might have heard of Not For Sale as a frontrunner nonprofit in the fight against human trafficking. What you probably don’t know is that in recent years, cofounder and president, David Batstone, has shifted their focus primarily towards business initiatives and job creation, rather than on humanitarian aid and rehabilitation. Not for Sale sees their contribution in the fight against human trafficking as preventing exploitation before it even happens, and believes business is a powerful tool in that process. Not for Sale partners with businesses to bring trafficking prevention to a whole new level. Their conviction:

“The responsibility to end modern slavery requires us to use our heads, as well as our hearts. We must use our courage to ask a new question, ‘How do you stop this before it happens in the first place?’…We believe business can change the tide against modern slavery because we’ve proven it with our own sweat, tears, and capital. We test our ideas, and help others do what works.” 

They also state, “We believe forced labor is a tool — a method of production — that can be replaced in businesses and supply chains. Any tool can be replaced, and we can replace slavery.”  Therefore, Not For Sale seeks to partner with businesses to create jobs for people who would otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation into forced labor and sex trafficking.

REBBL: Creating Jobs in the Amazon

One example of this kind of solution is Not For Sale’s partnership with a business in Peru. Not For Sale leaders learned that many remote villages along the Amazon river had little access to good jobs, and were tragically becoming prime targets for traffickers as forced laborers. At the root, the reason for their vulnerability to exploitation stemmed from a lack access to stable jobs and sufficient income.

Looking at the resources available in those regions, Not For Sale helped launch REBBL, a company that sells natural drinks and elixirs and employs many people from these Amazonian communities. Today, REBBL is an independent, growing company that provides stable jobs for these communities, in addition to delivering one-of-a-kind products.  Though two separate entities, Not for Sale and REBBL continue to collaborate in order to empower at-risk populations with employment and maintain ethical practices across the supply chain.

An Emerging Business Movement!

With a growing number of businesses worldwide trying to increase “corporate social responsibility,” there is increasing support for exploring ways to prioritize social good in addition to making profit. Though there are many examples of how to do so, Not For Sale’s niche is partnership to prevent trafficking. In addition to REBBL, they currently partner with more than 50 brands and 200 co-branded products to provide jobs and take a stand that will outlast the ebb and flow of demand for forced labor.

Not For Sale doesn’t just want to stop there, but see even more businesses to take a stand and join their efforts. To learn more: Ways for Businesses to Partner with Not For Sale.

Co-founder and president of Not For Sale, David Batstone, will be a keynote speaker at this year’s Business as Mission Conference, Sept. 15-17 in Dallas, Texas. Consider joining us there to hear more from Batstone and others who are using business to radically respond to global issues we see around us.

Further Reading:

Check other articles about how BAM companies can fight human trafficking from the BAM Review blog:

  1. Creating Jobs for the Exploited: a Vital Need and a Unique Challenge
  2. Evaluating Business Ideas for Freedom Business Startups
  3. BAM and Human Trafficking Report

Want to connect with others who share a passion to fight human trafficking through business? Get connected to the Freedom Business Alliance.


By Joyce Ahn


BAM Conference Logo 300

BAM Conference 2017

Dallas, TX | September 15-17, 2017

This year’s BAM Conference will bring together hundreds of business professionals and thought leaders from around the world who are eager to learn how to reconcile their faith and work.

With the theme “Bridging the Gap”, the three-day event will close the divide between where you are now and where you want to be, and equip you to use your God-given skills to make an impact through business.

Join us as we share insights, stories and tools that will fuel your business as mission journey.

Get your tickets here: bamconference.com.



 Joyce Ahn is a regular guest contributor for The BAM Review.