Uber & Polaris
The reality of technology being a necessity is continuing to grow in our culture. We can now utilize social media to be the foundational platform for any movement. Being in the culture of convenience, one business is utilizing their platform to make a difference. Uber has revolutionized an industry based on the demand for transportation. As a company, Uber has had some hardships in the past. Poor decisions made by powerful people and bad publicity have impacted them significantly over the years. However, it seems that they are ready to take a unique approach to re-establish who they are as a business. They are rebranding themselves in a life-altering way. In January 2018, Uber took initiative when they decided to help combat human trafficking.
One of their partners helping them do this is Polaris Project, an organization fighting to end human trafficking on a global scale. Uber is encouraging their drivers to be more interactive and aware of who their customers are. They released an incredible video of one of their drivers, Keith Avila, who took responsibility and contacted the necessary authorities when he suspected that a young girl was in danger. It's incredible for a company as large as Uber to utilize their platform to make a contribution to end human trafficking.
Polaris Project has an incredible approach to helping many organizations, like Uber, equip their employees to make a difference. They teach individuals how to respond to victims based on red-flag behaviors. In the video of Keith, he was observant of attire and conversation that didn't seem right. The next step is to provide people with the necessary information for how to receive support. There are national and global organizations that assist victims in rescue and accommodate their specific needs afterward. With these simple steps, Uber drivers can make an impact in ending modern-day slavery one ride at a time. The National Human Trafficking Hotline will also be located in the Uber App for any customer to see while on their drive.
"It's incredible for a company as large as Uber to utilize their platform to make a contribution to end human trafficking."
The International Labour Organization indicates that the human trafficking industry brings in about $150 billion a year. If more successful companies, like Uber, decide to become advocates, more lives will be rescued. Cultivating this kind of assertiveness can break the cycle of the devastating effects that human trafficking has brought into this world. ILO reported that out of 24.9 million people who are forced into labor,16 million of those are domestic workers, construction or agriculture, and about 4.8 million of those captured are forced into sexual exploitation.
As a consumer, this opens up a completely different approach to how to support a business. There are major cosmetic companies being revolutionized by creating cruelty-free products based on the demand of the people. What happens when the discussion moves towards human cruelty? What if we also held that same responsibility to those who abuse human rights? We need to stand for the freedom of men, women, and children being forced to live in fear. It's challenging to think of what kind of ripple effect society would have if more businesses, like Uber, took initiative in collaboration with nonprofits to abolish modern slavery.
It's an incredible thought that companies like Uber are trying to make a difference. Simple gestures and a sense of safety can go a long way in the life of a victim. One foundational step we can all take is to educate ourselves on our local aid agencies. Human Trafficking Hotline has done tremendous work in providing phone numbers to authorities and educational information based on the area you live in. Another great step toward advocacy is to learn more about the companies you financially support. Could those businesses be a contributing factor in this global epidemic? Finally, extending your kindness to others is, of course, another essential way to help eliminate the dangerous situations that exist to create and maintain human trafficking. You can easily apply Polaris's theory of change to your daily life and encourage companies to follow alongside Uber in creating a safe society for everyone.
About the Author
Courtney is an avid reader, sushi-fiend, and coffee addict. She lives in the mountains of San Bernardino where she works as a reservation specialist at a camp. Her life experiences have ignited a passion to end human trafficking even if it’s one dress at a time. She enjoys hardcore shows, playing board games, and maintaining her bullet journal one week at a time.