Western Union Joins Effort To Fight Human Trafficking

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU), a leader in global payment services, is teaming up with the Blue Campaign, an anti-human trafficking initiative spearheaded by The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for DHS’ efforts to combat human trafficking. Working in collaboration with non-governmental, private organizations, law enforcement and the government, the Blue Campaign strives to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

Western Union will provide the Blue Campaign’s multilingual training and awareness materials to select Western Union Agent locations in the Southwest border region and other areas in the United States. These materials highlight the signs of human trafficking and how to accurately report them. Participating agents will also receive additional training from Western Union on how to detect a potential human trafficking victim and how to involve law enforcement.

“Ending human trafficking is possible only if everyone steps in and plays a role,” said Barry Koch, chief compliance officer for Western Union. “We are committed to using the trust, reach and power of our brand along with our Agent network to engage the public and arm them with awareness and the resources to spot the signs and report suspect activity.”

Human trafficking is the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. According to the International Labour Organization, there are more than 20 million victims around the world, including the United States*. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

“Today, we are pledging to do more to combat human trafficking by broadening our network of partners which will enable us to better identify and rescue victims of this inexcusable crime, and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers. “We’re grateful to have the participation of Western Union in this important effort, which will help save lives, protect innocent victims, and prevent this form of modern day slavery.”

In addition to proactively working with local and federal law enforcement agencies, Western Union and the Western Union Foundation, as a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, have respectively worked and supported several U.S. global organizations to combat human trafficking.

* Trafficking in Persons Report 2012; U.S. Department of State

About Western Union:

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of September 30, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 515,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and approximately 115,000 ATMs. In 2012, The Western Union Company completed 231 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $79 billion of principal between consumers, and 432 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com.

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Copyright Business Wire 2010