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Calling for business to proactively fight trafficking in persons:

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act

by Euridice Marquez and Anh Nguyen, IOM Regional Office in Vienna


( IOM) - Both businesses and consumers play a central role in preventing human trafficking by eliminating the demand for trafficked labour and products produced under exploitative conditions. Businesses have a responsibility to guarantee that they are not directly linked to trafficking through the recruitment, transport, harbouring or receipt of a person for the purpose of exploitation, or indirectly implicated through the actions of their suppliers or business partners.(1) Consumers, on the other hand, have the right to know what is behind the products they buy and to demand more social guarantees on the goods they purchase. (2)


Recognizing the hidden nature of the crime of trafficking in persons and the role of busi¬nesses in actively preventing and combating human trafficking, California passed Senate Bill No. 657 to enact the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010. This Act took effect on 1 January 2012 and requires retail sellers and manufactures doing business in California and having annual worldwide gross receipts in 100 million to disclose the company's efforts, if any, to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from its direct supply chain for tangible goods offered for sale.


In particular, the company must disclose information on the following issues:


1. The company's engagement in verifying supply chains to evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery, including whether or not the verification is performed by a third party.


2. Audits of suppliers being conducted by the company, including disclosure as to whether the audits are announced or unannounced.


3. Certifications being obtained from suppliers proving that materials comply with applicable laws.


4. Maintenance of internal accountability standards and procedures.


5. Provision of training on slavery and human trafficking for company employees and management with direct responsibility for supply chain management.


The disclosure will be posted on the retail seller's or manufacturer's Internet website with a "conspicuous and easily understood link to the required information". In the case where the company does not have an Internet website, consumers will be provided with the written disclosure within 30 days of receiving a written disclosure request. Click here to continue reading this article in the IOM Newsletter Global Eye Issue 11/March 2012


For more resources for private sector go to the BUSINESS HUB



1. UN.GIFT, Human Trafficking and Business: Good Practices to Prevent and Combat Human Trafficking
2 For more information, refer to the "Buy Responsibly" website