Background

Companies in all industries are encouraged to conduct reviews of their supply chains as international scrutiny of the use of forced labor intensifies.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg offers a comprehensive suite of services to help companies address forced labor concerns, including supply chain reviews, due diligence strategies, and proactive remediation. In addition, ST&R has launched a new web page offering a broad range of information on forced labor-related efforts in the U.S. and around the world. ST&R will host a webinar on forced labor and supply chain transparency April 14.

For more information on any of these initiatives, please contact Amanda Levitt (at (212) 549-0148) or via email), David Olave (at (202) 730-4960 or via email), or Nicole Bivens Collinson (at (202) 730-4956 or via email).

As one example of the increased attention forced labor issues are receiving, the United Nations Human Rights Council has sent letters to a range of international companies about the potential use of forced labor in China. The UNHCR said it has received information that these companies may be involved through their supply chains in alleged forced labor, arbitrary detention, and trafficking in Uyghurs and other minority workers within and outside China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. These workers are predominantly employed in low-skilled, labor-intensive industries such as agribusiness, textiles and apparel, automotive, and technology.

The council said it has also received information regarding multinational corporations sourcing items from factories in China, including in Xinjiang, not being allowed to freely access those factories in order to exercise adequate oversight and human rights due diligence. 

The letters asked for further information from each company but warned that the UNHRC will soon be issuing a press release highlighting its concerns about the use of forced labor in China and that this press release will indicate that the council has been in contact with the companies receiving the letter.

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