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Companies are facing increasing threats to supply chain resiliency as enforcement of the prohibition of importating goods mined, produced or manufactured by forced labor is on the rise. This page gathers together information and resources on preventing forced labor in your supply chain and moving toward supply chain transparency "from earth to hearth."
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Latest Forced Labor & Supply Chain Security News From ST&R
U.S. Forced Labor Enforcement Activity By Country
The US is taking a whole-government approach to addressing the human rights violations occurring in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with respect to the Uyghur and other ethnic minorities. While diplomatic channels remain open, the US Government and Congress have taken several actions to prevent the importation of goods that may be made in whole or in part using forced labor in accordance with Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930.
Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act effectively deems all goods mined, produced, or manufactured in the XUAR to be produced by forced labor in China. Even those not importing directly from China may have goods detained if the materials used to produce the imported goods in a second country are tied at any level to XUAR or specific entities or commodities associated with forced labor in China. Companies need to ensure their supply chains do not include such goods.
- Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Operational Guidance for Importers (June 13, 2022)
- Federal Register Notice of Public Hearing on the Use of Forced Labor in the People's Republic of China and Measures to Prevent the Importation of Goods Produced, Mined, or Manufactured, Wholly or in Part, with Forced Labor in the People's Republic of China into the United States (March 18, 2022)
- Federal Register Notice Seeking Public Comments on Method To Prevent the Importation of Goods Mined, Produced, or Manufactured With Forced Labor in the People's Republic of China, Especially in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Into the United States (January 24, 2022)
- DHS Advances Biden-Harris Efforts to Stop Flow of Goods Produced by Forced Labor (January 24, 2022)
- US Department of Homeland Security Fact Sheet on Criminal Authorities for Enforcing Against Forced Labor in China (July 30, 2021)
- Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory - joint notice from US Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor, and the Office of the US Trade Representative (July 12, 2021 - updates the July 1, 2020 notice)
- Xinjiang Supply Chain Business Advisory - joint notice from US Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce & Homeland Security (July 1, 2020 - updated by above July 12, 2021 notice)
On November 10, 2021, the US Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce issued a joint advisory to US companies that conduct business in Cambodia in key sectors or with certain high risk entities. This advisory addresses the following primary areas of risk exposure for US companies:
- Illicit finance activities in Cambodia and related risks for the financial, real estate, casino, and infrastructure sectors.
- Involvement with Cambodian entities involved in trafficking in persons, wildlife, and narcotics in Cambodia and related risks for the manufacturing and timber sectors.
- Child exploitation, subject to forced labor in brickmaking, rubber plantations, construction and entertainment venues.
On January 26, 2022, a joint agency including the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Labor, Homeland Security and the USTR issued an advisory to US companies doing business in Burma and specifially with the military or associated companis. Additionally, businesses and individuals should be wary of the associated illicit finance risks as well as reputational and legal risks of conducting business in and utilizing supply chains under military control in Burma. The specific entities and sectors of greatest concern within Burma include:
- State-owned enterprises
- Gems and precious metals
- Real estate and construction projects
- Arms, military equipment, and related activity
- A number of goods imported from Burma into the US, including bamboo, beans (green, soy, yellow), bricks, garments, jade, palm thatch, rice, rubber, rubies, sesame, shrimp, sugarcane, sunflowers, and teak, have been tied to labor abuses including child and forced labor
CAATSA Section 321 creates a rebuttable presumption that North Korean workers are forced to labor.
Government Information & Documents
- Determination that Maintenance of Finding of January 28, 2022, Pertaining to Certain Palm Oil and Derivative Products Made Wholly or in Part With Palm Oil Produced by the Malaysian Company Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, Its Subsidiaries, and Joint Ventures, Is No Longer Necessary (February 3, 2023)
- Request for Comments: Trade Strategy to Combat Forced Labor (July 6, 2022)
- CBP Enforces Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act Against Li-Ning Sporting Goods (March 15, 2022)
- USTR Announces the Development of a Focused Trade Strategy to Combat Forced Labor (January 25, 2022)
- White House Fact Sheet: President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (January 25, 2022)
- White House: The National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (December 2021)
- CBP's Withhold Release Order (WRO) List
- Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) Entity List
- Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)'s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) Lists
- U.S. Department of Labor's List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor
- U.S. Department of Labor's List of Products Produced by Forced or Child Labor
- U.S. Department of State's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report
- CBP Forced Labor Page
- CBP Fact Sheet: Forced Labor - Points of Contact
- CBP Fact Sheet: Forced Labor - Importer Due Diligence
- CBP Fact Sheet: Forced Labor Detained Shipments
- United Nations Human Rights Council Joint Communication
- International Labour Organization Indicators of Forced Labour
- UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
Worldwide Actions to Prevent Forced Labor
Below, find actions taken worldwide to limit forced labor. This list is not exhaustive.
- Canada's Act to Enact the Fighting Against Forced Labor & Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (passed May 3, 2023; effective January 1, 2024)
- New EU Proposal on prohibiting products made with forced labor (September 14, 2022)
- EU Resolution on the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the Xinjiang police files (June 9,2022)
- Germany's New Supply Chain Act (March 3, 2022)
- Just and sustainable economy: European Commission lays down rules for companies to respect human rights and environment in global value chains (February 23, 2022)
- New EU guidance helps companies to combat forced labour in supply chains (July 13, 2021)
- Canada Border Services Agency: Memorandum D9-1-6 on Goods Manufactured or Produced by Prison or Forced Labour (May 7, 2021)
- Canada, UK, EU & the U.S. Working Together Over Human Rights (March 23, 2021)
- Canada announces new measures to address human rights abuses in Xinjiang, China (January 12, 2021)
- UK Government announces business measures over Xinjiang human rights abuses (January 12, 2021)
- EU Parliament: Motion for a resolution on forced labour and the situation of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region (December 15, 2020)
- Australia's Modern Slavery Act (2018)
- UK's Modern Slavery Act (2015)