The Oil & Gas Trafficking Advocacy Group, hosted by OVS Group, kicked off the 2018 year with its first meeting on January 23, 2018. January marked the 1-year anniversary of the group. Participants of the OGTAG are employed by various oil and gas operators and service providers headquartered in Houston, Texas with operations around the world. Thus, the information being discussed at the meetings has the potential to bring change across the world in the way companies address human trafficking within their organizations (via HR & HSE policies) and within the supply chain.
Minal Davis, Special Advisor to the Mayor of Houston on Human Trafficking, presented on the issue from the labor trafficking perspective. The federal definition of human trafficking references both sex and labor trafficking as both involve the exploitation of a person through force, fraud or coercion. Minal presented data on post-disaster human trafficking risks, using Hurricane Katrina as a case study, where labor trafficking presented itself in various businesses. As Houston experienced devastation in 2017 from Hurricane Harvey, the Mayor’s office has worked to inform companies of these potential risks as trafficking not only causes harm to the people being enslaved, but can also come with hefty fines for the employer for damages caused to trafficked workers. Companies are encouraged to take proactive measures to safeguard against labor trafficking by conducting due diligence on all labor contractors in the supply chain. Since Harvey, the Mayor of Houston issued an executive order with zero tolerance for human trafficking in city service contracts and purchasing. O&G companies can issue similar executive orders to address this matter in their procurement departments, if this is not already being done.
The City of Houston is working actively to address both sex and labor trafficking and the OGTAG thanks the city for these efforts and will continue to work alongside the City of Houston by addressing trafficking. The OGTAG will gather again on March 27, 2018 from 11:30am-1pm to continue to bring awareness to the O&G industry for the prevention of human trafficking in the US and abroad.
The OGTAG is always open to new members. Please contact OGTAG@ovsgroup.com to receive more information about upcoming meetings or information discussed in prior meetings.