By: Sydni Dobson
With more than 7.1 billion people in this technology efficient world, it’s no surprise that consumers want their products and want them now. In the 21st century, the rate of consumer consumption is at an all-time high. Yet, we fail to realize that in us wanting a quick turnaround for so many different products, companies must have a lot of workers and assign back breaking work. Many of these people we refer to as “employees” in actuality might be children or non-paid victims of human trafficking.
Humans working against their will or being underpaid for their work are victims of labor trafficking. According to http://www.freetheslaves.net/new-law-could-require-u-s-companies-to-disclose-anti-trafficking-efforts-to-fed/, many goods that are sold to American consumers are produced with slave labor. Many companies participate knowingly in human trafficking in order to make products, while others unknowingly benefit from trafficked humans.
Business corporations across the world began to take action to end slavery in their industries, once they realized there was no excuse for people to suffer by manufacturing their product lines. That is why the Transparency in Supply Chains Act was introduced in the state of California. The bill targets publicly-traded companies with more than $100 million in global gross receipts. According to freetheslaves.net, it requires the businesses to include in their annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a notification of any efforts to prevent slavery in their product supply chains.
Although that legislation was passed in California, the rest of the United States has failed to follow suit. Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney of New York and Chris Smith of New Jersey introduced the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 to Congress, yet the bill failed to pass. California is the only state whose businesses must publicly disclose measures to prevent human trafficking, slavery and child labor in their supply chains as part of their annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission. With California being the third largest state in the US, there is no doubt that large companies reside there and sell their products. Some of the biggest industries in the world are in California, however the republic state isn’t the only one with corporations that produce $100 million in global gross receipts.
Why did the corresponding federal bill fail? How can only one state be required to show their receipts, but not the other 49? That is something that only the members of Congress know.
To decrease human trafficking across the globe, the United States needs to pass a federal law requiring Supply Chain Transparency for all corporations that have business activities outside of the US. The United States should lead and be an example for other countries.
Each of us needs to understand the supply chain and do our part to make it slave-free.