The General Board of the Christian Church met in mid-April and Christian Church Foundation President Gary Kidwell reported on behalf of CCF. As part of his report, Gary explained to the General Board some of the ways CCF works for good in the world through partnership with Disciples Women and the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), among others.
Around the world, there are currently 152 million children engaged in child labor, 73 million children engaged in hazardous labor, and 25 million people engaged in forced labor. In March, the United States Senate passed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA). This marked a major victory in efforts to stop human trafficking and it mandated updates to the Communications Decency Act to hold online platforms accountable when they knowingly engage in human trafficking. The Christian Church Foundation was one of many who advocated for SESTA.
In addition to human trafficking, millions of people become slaves through the actions of unscrupulous labor brokers. As a member of ICCR, CCF supports work for responsible and sustainable business practices. Recently, we have worked with other members of ICCR to support the “No Fees” Initiative, which helps “companies to create robust management systems that will ensure workers . . . are not forced to pay for employment.”1 Hershey’s, McDonald’s, Williams-Sonoma, and Dean Foods are some of the new companies joining the “No Fees” Initiative this year, committing to integrate ethical recruitment, stricter codes of conduct, and changes in labor policies into their companies. Over the last year, the number of companies with a “no fees” policy has grown from twenty-five to forty-six while an additional eight new companies have integrated at least three pillars of the “no fees” policy into their management systems.
At the Christian Church Foundation Board meeting this spring, Gary reviewed his General Board report and these important partnerships. Gary reminded our Board that, “We can make a difference, have an impact, and use our financial heft to work for justice in the world.”