Last year, The Body Shop created a line of lotions called “Soft Hands, Kind Heart,” that sent 50% of the proceeds to help end child sex trafficking (and, incidentally, leave your hands silky smooth). But leaving it at lotion wasn’t enough for The Body Shop and founder Anita Roddick. This week, the company launched a full out public awareness campaign against child sex trafficking. A corporation putting time and money into an anti-trafficking awareness campaign? Now that’s smooth.
The posters are truly eye-catching, with the words “DRUGS, GUNS, KIDS” in bold, brightly-colored block letters. The words refer to the three largest international crimes, the trafficking of arms, illegal drugs, and human beings. Some estimates have actually found that human trafficking has outstripped arms trafficking to become the second largest international criminal enterprise in the world, but either way these are the top three. The posters will be up in the 60 countries where the campaign is running, including the U.S.
The Body Shop began this campaign because, as a company, they were passionate about taking part in the fight against child sex trafficking, and realized that they could bring a lot of resources to the battle. They also realized, however, that they were not experts. That’s why in the “DRUGS, GUNS, KIDS” campaign, they are partnering with ECPAT and the Somaly Mam Foundation. Shelley Simmons, Director of Brand Communications and Values The Body Shop in Canada, Mexico and the United States, points out that running this sort of campaign can be tricky for a corporation. They want to be able to deliver an important message without turning people off. And let’s face it, not very many people want to here about children being enslaved and sexual abused while they’re shopping for lip balm. It can be a little depressing.
But the message The Body Shop is sending is also one of hope. You can change their “DRUGS, GUNS, KIDS” posters to just read “DRUGS, GUNS.” Right now, two Body Shop products will contribute part of the proceeds from their ales to anti-trafficking organizations. The “Soft Hands, Kind Heart,” lotion I mentioned earlier donates $6 out of $10 is donated to ECPAT operations in the United States. The environmentally-friendly Bag for Life donates $2 out of every $5 to the Somaly Mam Foundation.
On this blog, you often hear about corporations doing all the wrong things — using slave labor in their supply chain and ignoring the issue of how they profit from human trafficking. It’s good to know that there are companies like The Body Shop out there, fighting human trafficking along side us. Thanks, Body Shop, for all the work you are doing.
Photo credit: darkensiva