Federal Supply Chain Transparency Bill Introduced

The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 was introduced to Congress on Tuesday, seeking to require large public companies to annually disclose efforts to combat trafficking and labor abuses in their supply chains. The bill emphasizes the centrality of business anti-trafficking policies in combatting modern slavery.

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July 29, 2015
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On Tuesday, Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Chris Smith (NJ-04) introduced the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015.

Similar to The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act from 2012, the bill requires public companies with over $100 million in global gross receipts to disclose all measures taken to prevent human trafficking, slavery and child labor 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 on Monday.

In a press release on Tuesday, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) applauded the introduction of this bill.

“This act is a real game-changer that is much needed by consumers, investors and most importantly, those who have been made victims by human traffickers,” said David M. Schilling, senior program director of ICCR. “This would require corporate reporting on human rights risks within their extended supply chains down to the commodity level.”

The introduction of this bill in response to the TIP Report highlights the seriousness with which human rights abuses in supply chains are being taken. Throughout the report, substantial emphasis was placed on the role that business plays in combatting slavery.

There are many measures businesses can take to mitigate the risks of human trafficking throughout their operations. For starters, business leaders can create anti-trafficking policies that address the common risks in their operations and supply chains, ensure workers have the right to fair compensation and redress, train staff to understand the indicators of human trafficking, and put remediation plans in place before any allegations arise to allow for appropriate corrective action.

If the Business Supply Chain Transparency Act is enacted, it would apply to all publicly traded and private entities in every sector. The effects of this law would impact a variety of core business functions, and require new systems to address this global issue.

For the latest on the 2015 TIP Report follow us on Twitter @KnowTheChain, and #TIP2015.