Seventeen government officials, social workers, politicians, NGO leaders, journalists and law enforcement officers from various European countries visited Immokalee yesterday to receive a presentation and tour from the CIW as part of the US State Department’s “Combatting Trafficking in Persons” International Visitor Leadership Program. Participants learned about the history of the CIW’s efforts to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery in the US agricultural industry, the CIW’s successful Taco Bell campaign, and its current campaign against McDonald’s. The CIW explained how forced labor doesn’t exist in a vacuum.  Rather, sweatshop conditions in an industry—subpoverty wages, no benefits, no right to overtime—provide the fertile soil in which slavery can take root and thrive. In addition, participants discussed potential policies and strategies to help prevent and actively combat human trafficking, including the prosecution of and enforcement against traffickers. Participants also learned about initiatives to protect and assist workers held against their will. To read more, see this article in the Naples Daily News.