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Konica Minolta fights human trafficking

Thursday, 26 October 2017
By Print21

The Konica Minolta team in Cambodia.

Thirteen Konica Minolta staff members have travelled to Cambodia to support the Project Futures campaign against human trafficking, slavery and exploitation.

“I’m so proud to work for an organisation that puts people first, not only our staff and customers, but all people,” says Sue Threlfo, sales manager, specialised print & education, Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia, via email from Cambodia.

“Under David Cooke’s stewardship, there is significant work being done to eradicate slavery in the Konica Minolta supply chain. Since deciding to participate on this trip, I have learnt so much about the plight of young girls and woman in Cambodia, and hope I can use this knowledge to raise awareness to end human trafficking. 

“Each of the girls in this photo (which can be published as their faces are covered) has an horrific tale that has brought her into care.  Hopefully in time, with the right support to help them deal with the trauma in their lives, they can go on to have productive, happy lives.”

Project Futures is an Australian not-for-profit that raises funds to support established projects within the Asia Pacific region that help transform and restore the lives of victims, survivors and those at risk of human trafficking, slavery and exploitation, including in Australia.

More than $31,000 raised by Konica Minolta staff on the trip will support the work of AFESIP (Agir Pour Les Femmes En Situation Précaire – Acting for Women in Distressing Situations) in Cambodia.

KM regional manager Scott Jackson worked with MD David Cooke and Project Futures to design the trip for 13 staff members who paid their own travel costs and expenses to make the journey. Each person also agreed to raise a minimum of $2,000 to support Project Futures work in Cambodia.

The Konica Minolta team that made the trip: Scott Jackson, Nick Southgate, Andrew Dutch, Sue Threlfo, Vivek Kumar, David Cooke, Christine Jackson, Steve Connolly, Viraj Meena, Mark Henderson, Yuri Matsui, Cindy Reid, Mark Brown.

Project Futures CEO Clare Pearson says Konica Minolta has been a corporate sponsor of the registered charity since 2013, contributing over $300,000 and “helping us transform the lives of women and children who have fallen victim to human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Australia and Cambodia.

“This year saw our first corporate immersion, an opportunity to raise funds but more than that, educate people about the growing issue of human trafficking and the damaged individuals left in the wake. Human trafficking is devastating individuals, families and communities…holding intergenerational costs that are immeasurable.”

Human trafficking is the recruitment of persons through force, coercion, deception or abduction for the purpose of exploitation. Victims are then enslaved and found working in industries including construction, hospitality, the sex industry, agriculture and domestic work. 

“The corporate immersion is an opportunity for powerful team bonding, educating individuals on the issue and highlighting the incredible impact of their employer; ultimately, leading to an understanding of how their dollar is changing the world and transforming lives when contributing to a larger pool,” says Pearson. “En masse, we each have the power to change the world on a local and international level.”

 

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