The U.S. Senate is following suit in the aftermath of this year’s TIP Report, and taking steps to address human trafficking by issuing new regulations that match the House’s action last week.
“Corporate complicity in human trafficking is a fact that consumers and investors deserve to know,” said Blumenthal. “This measure is about a disclosure duty concerning moral and possible legal culpability for modern day slavery. Countless victims, particularly women and children, are exploited by major corporations when they profit from human trafficking known among their suppliers. Consumers and investors can impact corporate conduct that condones or encourages human trafficking.”
This legislation would require company disclosure of anti-trafficking policies to ensure supply chains are free of slavery and human trafficking, and will affect all companies reporting more than $100 million in global receipts.
The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 would require these companies to report measures they are taking to eliminate human trafficking in their supply chains to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a part of their annual report. This announcement follows the release of the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report two weeks ago.
“Trafficking in persons is an increasing threat around the globe, hurting woman, children, entire families, and those made vulnerable by economic or social circumstances,” said Markey. “Networks of criminals are getting rich turning people into profit. This bill would require companies to verify their supply chains are free from this practice and help prevent these bad actors from benefiting from criminal activity. It is an important, meaningful step forward. By improving transparency, consumers will be able to make informed choices and hold private companies accountable for engaging in modern day slavery.”
As legislation continues to focus on the accountability and transparency of companies as a solution to human trafficking, adequate resources, along with deep partnerships at the government, corporate, and nonprofit levels will allow companies to successfully navigation this growing body of legislation.