Carlson receives inaugural Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons

The White House has announced that Carlson is the first company to receive the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The prestigious recognition was announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, April 9, in Washington, D.C. Carlson Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson was present to accept the award.

Human trafficking is one of the world’s fastest growing crimes, with an estimated $32 billion in revenue for the traffickers and an estimated 26 million people enslaved worldwide. Conservative estimates put the annual number of children sexually exploited at two million. In the United States alone, it is estimated that nearly 300,000 children are trafficked for sex annually.

In order to more effectively combat this issue, President Obama has directed his cabinet to work more closely across departments to expand efforts and partnerships. The resulting interagency task force involving the State Department and the Departments of Justice, Labor, and Homeland Security, is the first in the nation’s history to focus on the issue of human trafficking.

The Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons is another component of President's commitment. Carlson received the award for its demonstrated commitment and corporate leadership in combating modern slavery, through the adoption and promotion of business practices that seek to protect victims of human trafficking; and the development of proactive measures to train employees and encourage its partners, and the broader business community, to take a stand against human trafficking.

The company has been a leader and early supporter of efforts to recognize and prevent human and sex trafficking around the globe, and proactively trains its employees to be aware of the risks of sex trafficking, particularly of children.

“Carlson’s consistent and long-standing efforts to combat human trafficking have made our company a pioneer in this area," said Marilyn, "and while it is an honor to be recognized by the President for our efforts, the fight has just begun. As Carlson continues to do its part, it is my fervent hope that our work will inspire others to join us in combating this crucial, global issue.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, chair of the President’s Task Force on Trafficking, said, “With this award, we honor those who have played an extraordinary role in advancing our common cause. They have been pioneers in this effort—from developing the 3P approach of prevention, protection, and prosecution in the earliest days of this movement, to championing innovations in corporate social responsibility that will help carry this work forward for years to come. This award pays tribute to their leadership and their commitment.”

Pictured above right (L-R): Ambassador Luis CdeBaca of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State; Marilyn Carlson Nelson;  Florrie Burke, Freedom Network founder and chair emeritus, who also received the award; and Cecilia Muñoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council.

April 11, 2013
Photo caption:
At a ceremony at the White House this week, Carlson received the Presidential Award for Extraordinary Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Carlson Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson accepted the award.