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Input Sought for Updates of Child/Forced Labor Reports

Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs is requesting information and/or comments no later than Jan. 15 on certain documents regarding child labor and forced labor in foreign countries.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 directed ILAB to develop and make available to the public a list of goods from countries that it has reason to believe are produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards. Pursuant to this mandate, in December 2007 ILAB published a set of procedural guidelines that it follows in developing and maintaining this list. ILAB released its initial list of goods in September 2009 and the most recent update can be found here.

Separately, the DOL published in January 2001 pursuant to Executive Order 13126 (a) a final list of products that it had a reasonable basis to believe might have been mined, produced or manufactured with forced or indentured child labor and (b) procedural guidelines for maintaining, reviewing and revising that list. The DOL has revised this list four times, most recently on July 23. The current list is available here.

Finally, under the Trade and Development Act of 2000, one of the criteria for eligibility for trade benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act is the beneficiary country’s implementation of its international commitments to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The DOL evaluates this factor in an annual report, and the most recent report is available here.

ILAB is now requesting comments on the 2013 TVPRA list, the current E.O. 13126 list and the DOL’s 2012 TDA report. Specifically, ILAB is seeking comments or information to update the findings and suggestions for government action for countries reviewed in the TDA report; information on the nature and extent of child labor, forced labor, and forced or indentured child labor in the production of goods in foreign countries; and information on government, industry or third-party actions and initiatives to address these issues. ILAB will generally consider sources with dates up to five years old (i.e., data not older than Jan. 1, 2008).

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