U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 25, 2019
In her report on trafficking and exploitation in business operations and supply chains, the Special Rapporteur compliments the United States’ Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rule, citing it as an example of how member states can adopt legislation requiring due diligence on human rights concerns throughout the supply chain.
What the United States has done domestically in the 2015 FAR rule on “Ending Trafficking in Persons” is to require federal contractors and subcontractors to notify government procurement personnel whenever they have credible information about human trafficking or prohibited practices associated with trafficking. The definition of prohibited practices is purposefully broad, and it includes engaging in trafficking in persons, using forced labor to execute contracts, using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices, denying employees access to their immigration documents, and charging employees recruitment fees. Non-compliance with this regulation can lead to termination of a contract, suspension of the contractor, or complete debarment of the contractor for bidding government projects for up to three years.
The United States has also worked internationally, in concert with allies, on the critical issue of breaking supply chains. For example, in September 2017, the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States launched the “Principles to Guide Government Action to Combat Human Trafficking in Global Supply Chains.” These non-binding core principles align with other frameworks, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and complement promising practices seen in civil society organizations and the private sector. Our governments have communicated regularly on how to further implement the core principles and expand the number of countries endorsing them.
The report mentions grievance mechanisms for survivors of trafficking to seek redress with their employers. Are some types of mechanisms more effective for survivors than others? Are there recent examples of promising practices in this area?