June 5, 2015
In light of recent developments around anti-human trafficking efforts on the legislative front and increased public awareness of the vulnerabilities of migrants, it is paramount to enforce ethical hiring and recruitment practices within supply chains.
In the U.S., federal contractors, subcontractors and their employees and agents, whether on contracts inside or outside the United States, now have to abide by strict anti-human trafficking requirements. Most recently, The California Attorney General’s office has increased enforcement activities around The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. And in the near future, businesses in the United Kingdom will have to develop a public human trafficking statement. These recent government initiated developments, coupled with current events like the migrant crises in Southeast Asia and southern Europe and the labor abuses associated with the Thai fishing industry, to name a few, demonstrate the necessity to identify and address the risks of human trafficking in supply chains.
To get started, supply chain auditing and remediation of applicable risks are two important steps in managing potential or actual labor abuses and signs of trafficking. Onsite conversations with supplier management and employees are essential to identifying the risk of trafficking. Educated inquiries can, e.g., determine misleading or fraudulent practices during recruitment, payment of hiring or recruitment-related fees, cost of travel to the worksite which may have placed the employee in severe debt, or deception around employment terms and contracts – all risk areas associated with trafficking.
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