Modern slavery is a situation where coercion, threats, or deception are used to take advantage of victims and impair their freedom. One of the practices that establish modern slavery is human trafficking.

An important distinction to make is that modern slavery does not include inadequate working conditions or wages for workers. These are also important occurrences that may be present in some cases, however, modern slavery mainly describes serious profiteering. 

Regulations in various countries require companies to be socially responsible by ensuring they never contribute to human trafficking.

Human trafficking Enviropass

Slavery & Human Trafficking Ban Regulations – Affected Markets

Human trafficking regulation STRT form

One has a responsibility to respect and protect human rights within their company’s operations and supply chains. Such responsibilities are stated in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as the necessary steps to evaluate and approach modern slavery risks.       

When it comes to human trafficking ban regulations, if you do business in the following markets, for example, there is a good chance you must address human trafficking ban regulations. And this, under certain conditions such as the company size and activities.

Australia's Modern Slavery Act

In Australia, the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) was issued in January 2019. This act establishes a requirement called the Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement which applies to those interacting with the Australian market. This supports businesses in identifying and approaching their modern slavery risks. With this, a responsible and transparent supply chain is maintained.

California Transparency in Supply Chains Act

In California, the leading legislation is the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Section 1714.43. Issued in January of 2012, this act requires retail sellers and manufacturers to document their efforts towards eliminating slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains.

Furthermore, the California law SB 657 is another regulation that targets tragedies of human trafficking and modern slavery in the present-day workplace.

The European Union Human Trafficking Directive

The EU implemented the Human Trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU in April of 2011. The directive aims to prevent and combat human trafficking as well as protect its victims. Member states are supposed to have this directive transposed into their laws as of April 2013.

French Law No. 2017-399 Against Human Trafficking

In France, as of March 2017, the Devoir de vigilance des sociétés mères et des entreprises donneuses d’ordre (Duty of Care of Parent Companies and Ordering Companies) Law No.  2017-399 is the governing legislation against human trafficking. This law requires companies to publish a due vigilance plan. This includes due diligence measures to identify risks and prevent serious infringements of human rights and freedoms. This applies to the company and all its supply chains.

Dutch Child Labor Due Diligence Act

The Netherlands adopted the Dutch Child Labor Due Diligence Act in May 2019; however, the enactment is due to come into effect in 2022. Companies based in or selling to the Dutch market must investigate their supply chain to determine whether there is reasonable suspicion of child labor.

German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act

German Flag Human Trafficking

Environmental and social due diligence obligations to assess the supply chain. This SCDDA regulation can impact German companies with over 1,000 employees.

UK's Modern Slavery Act

Section 15 of the United Kingdom’s (UK) Modern Slavery Act 2015 establishes requirements for commercial businesses. Such organizations must publish slavery and human trafficking statements each year.

US Federal Acquisition Regulation Final Rule on Combating Trafficking in Persons

The United States has two important laws against human trafficking within a company’s procedures. Namely, there’s the Federal Acquisition Regulation Final Rule on Combating Trafficking in Persons 52.222-50; and the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act.

Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template

Similar to the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) addressing conflict minerals laws, the Social Responsibility Alliance (SRA) has developed the Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) to help companies comply with these regulations. 

The STRT is a free standard in Excel format that enhances data collection from supply chains.

Consequences of Human Trafficking

Aside from the obvious severe consequences for the victims, human trafficking affects markets and businesses. Some of these include distorting the global market, undermining responsible businesses, and causing significant legal and reputational issues for companies.

Human Trafficking in Private Sectors - Electronics

Human trafficking mainly occurs in the private sector. That is in agriculture, construction, mining, fishing, forestry, hospitality, and electronics manufacturing. Those who work in these fields face a common set of hazardous and harmful conditions, such as hazardous work environments, verbal and physical abuse, low and withheld wages, and general vulnerability due to being considered underqualified and expendable. Migrant workers are drawn to these industries because of the seasonality and high work demand. Also into consideration is the large efforts from labor recruiters.

Human Trafficking Electronics

Organizations For Human Rights

International Labour Organization

International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is dedicated to ensuring social justice and having human and labor rights recognized internationally. The main objective of the ILO is to ensure universal and permanent peace. This United Nations organization is the only one that combines representation from the government, employers, and workers. Members from 187 countries work together to define labor standards, formulate policies, and implement programs that advocate for decent employment for all men and women. The ILO has a Decent Work agenda that aims to improve economic and working circumstances to offer long-term peace, prosperity, and progress to all employees, employers, and governments.

International Labour Conference

The broad policy and the international labor standards are established at the International Labour Conference (ILC). The annual meeting is in Geneva, where the conference is a meeting place to address important social and labor issues. The Governing Body is the ILO’s executive council which meets three times each year in Geneva. It makes policy decisions and sets the program and budget, and subsequently recommends them for approval at the Conference.

International Labour Office

The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization. It is the focal point for the International Labour Organization’s overall activities, which it plans under the leadership of the Director-General and under the supervision of the Governing Body.

International Labour Standards

International labour standards are backed up by a one-of-a-kind international supervisory structure that ensures governments follow through on the treaties they issue. On a regular basis, the ILO analyses the implementation of standards in member countries and suggests areas where improvements should be made. If nations have problems implementing standards, the ILO works to help them through social dialogue and technical assistance.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO World Trade Organization

All World Trade Organization (WTO) members are committed to a narrower set of globally recognized “core” principles, including freedom of association, no forced labor, no child labor, and no employment discrimination (including gender discrimination).

At the 1996 Singapore Ministerial Conference, members established the WTO’s position in this area, designating the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the authorized authority to negotiate labor standards. The WTO’s Councils and Committees are not working on this issue. However, under the banner of “coherence” in global economic policymaking, the secretariats of the two organizations work on technical matters together. They are unable to establish an agreement beyond that, and the subject of international enforcement is usually a source of tension.

Conflict Minerals and Human Trafficking

Declarations of four conflict minerals known as 3TG (Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten, and Gold) from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are governed under the American Dodd-Frank Act.

In the European Union, there’s Regulation #2017/821, which imposes supply chain due-diligence responsibilities for importers of tin, tantalum, and tungsten, as well as their ores and gold, originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Enviropass has over 3 500 of the most common suppliers on file, who record reports according to Conflict Minerals Reporting Templates (CMRT).

Conflict Minerals

Enviropass supports you in searching for information and following up with your suppliers and subcontractors as well as advising you in the mandatory official disclosure on your supply chains control.

If you need any assistance, Enviropass can help you audit your supply chains.