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Human Trafficking Forum Highlights Oil & Gas Advocacy

Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughes

Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughes

The Texas Business Against Trafficking (TBAT) held a policy forum at the Texas Capitol on October 16, hosted by Texas Secretary of State Ruth R. Hughes. The forum consisted of two panels featuring the non-profit sector and corporate sector. In her opening remarks, Secretary Hughes presented TBAT as “a positive step for businesses in Texas towards finding new ways to work collaboratively to eradicate trafficking in [the] state.” Businesses occupy a unique space in between the non-profit and public sector where they can elevate the issue through funding initiatives, staff training, community volunteering, and hiring survivors. She ended the forum with a call to action for businesses, of all sectors, to join the initiative.

Alexandria Alvarez, founder of the Oil and Gas Trafficking Advocacy Group (OGTAG) addressed attendees during the corporate panel. Through this group, Alvarez hopes to “discuss the role that the oil and gas community can play in ending human trafficking by expanding awareness and affecting policies.” She answered questions from the audience about corporate engagement and its widespread impact. From the corporate panel, attendees took away the importance of raising awareness, implementing formal training and staying engaged in their communities.

WHAT CAN THE SECTOR DO?
As a member of OGTAG, PESA is committed to advocating for human rights. This advocacy forms part of our ESG Committee’s mission of sharing best practices on environmental, social and governance issues among our members.

Alvarez addressed attendees of PESA’s “ESG Seminar: Why ESG Matters” on October 31. She drew attention to large trade shows and sporting events, frequent locations of the oil and gas industry, can harbor the issue. However, she also highlighted the oil and gas industry’s work in human rights and available resources that you can find here.