Company supporting organizations that collectively serve thousands of survivors each year
The Senior Policy Operating Group, part of a U.S. cabinet-level entity through The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, estimates there are nearly 25 million adults and children around the world who are victims of human trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery that includes forced labor and sexual exploitation. Black & Veatch, a leading global provider of critical infrastructure solutions, announced at its recent leadership conference in Kansas City, Missouri, that it is taking steps to join the fight against this global issue by supporting three anti-human trafficking organizations: the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, the International Justice Mission, and Veronica’s Voice.
“It is truly tragic that slavery persists today in the form of human trafficking across the globe,” said Mario Azar, Chairman and CEO of Black & Veatch. “As a global company operating in many countries all over the world, we decided that it’s our social responsibility to join the fight against this form of modern-day slavery. We are glad to partner with International Justice Mission, the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, and Veronica’s Voice and sponsor the great work they do in combating this hideous crime and fundamental human rights issue.”
These organizations help empower victims of human trafficking. The International Justice Mission (IJM), based in Washington, D.C., for example, is a global collection of lawyers, social workers, criminal investigators and storytellers.
“As a global company, Black & Veatch’s footprint overlaps closely with IJM’s work around the world,” said Amanda Vohs, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for IJM. “Our partnership with Black & Veatch will make a long-term impact and help protect people in poverty from violence.”
The Center for Combating Human Trafficking (CCHT) is based in Wichita, Kansas, and operates as a national organization that focuses on training and educating communities to effectively interact with people who are victims of many forms of abuse.
“Successful anti-trafficking work includes partnerships across communities and industries,” said Dr. Irene Countryman-Roswurm, CCHT Founder and Executive Director. “Black & Veatch’s resources and capacity will elevate our work and ultimately help more survivors experience kaleidoscopic prosperity.”
A Kansas City, Kansas-based organization, Veronica’s Voice works to empower women to exit lives of sexual exploitation, to prevent recurrence, and to end demand through education and advocacy.
“Through the partnership with Black & Veatch, we will be able to provide additional recovery services, such as therapy and mentorships, for women in our residential program,” said Kristy Childs, Founder of Veronica’s Voice. “These are a vital part of the journey towards healing.”
Black & Veatch launched its anti-human trafficking partnership efforts in September when Mario Azar became the company’s Chairman and CEO.
The Black & Veatch Foundation serves as the platform for participation by the company and its professionals, and it supports a variety of philanthropic organizations and programs worldwide.
Since its beginning, Black & Veatch and its professionals have been actively involved in supporting community needs. The Foundation builds on the company’s history of community involvement by globally expanding Black & Veatch’s overall philanthropic role, involvement, and impact in our communities.
In 2021, Black & Veatch joined SEIA efforts to prevent forced labor in supply chains. The full article can be read here.
Black & Veatch’s 2020-2023 Sustainability Strategy can be found here.
About Black & Veatch
Black & Veatch is a 100-percent employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2021 exceeded US$3.3 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media.
About the Senior Policy Operating Group
The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is a cabinet-level entity created by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. The Senior Policy Operating Group comprises senior officials designated as representatives of the PITF agencies to address all aspects of human trafficking.
About International Justice Mission (IJM)
For more than 20 years, IJM has been fighting the worst forms of violence around the world. IJM partners with 29 program offices in 17 countries to combat trafficking and slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power. IJM’s mission is to protect people in poverty from violence by rescuing victims, bringing criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. Learn more at www.ijm.org.
About The Center for Combating Human Trafficking
The Center for Combating Human Trafficking is a team of survivor-led professionals focusing on effectively preventing, assessing, identifying, evaluating, and intervening in cases of human trafficking, as well as assisting in the long-term integration and prosperity of survivors. The foundation of their work is The Lotus Emancipation Model created by Dr. Irene Countryman-Roswurm and staff. The model honors human capacity for resilience, vitality, and prosperity. Their mission is to empower and equip communities to effectively prevent and intervene skillfully with those who have been victimized, survived, and overcome all forms of abuse and exploitation, particularly human trafficking. Learn more at www.combattinghumantrafficking.com.
About Veronica’s Voice
Veronica’s Voice was founded in 2000 by Kristy Childs, seven years after her close friend, Veronica, was murdered. The organization serves as a remembrance of Kristy’s friend and the violent cycle of commercial sexual exploitation. Veronica’s Voice serves survivors through various community and educational programs. Learn more at www.veronicasvoice.org.
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