Corporate Liability for Forced Labour and Human Trafficking

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 14:43 PM
Author: Hogan Lovells LLP, Institute for Human Rights and Business and Thomson Reuters Foundation
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Companies are increasingly aware of risks associated with issues of forced labour and human trafficking in their supply chains, especially where exploitative recruitment practices are the norm.  This report provides an overview of the international laws, regulations and guidelines in place to curtail human trafficking and forced labour, and the specific regimes that apply in a number of jurisdictions, with a focus on the obligations of corporate actors.  The eight jurisdictions examined here are the UK, the USA, Qatar, Japan, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.  This range of jurisdictions covers all continents and a number represent host states of recent and forthcoming mega-sporting events, which generate a significant amount of labour migration, a heightened risk of forced labour and trafficking, and a significant degree of scrutiny from civil society, the media, investors and consumers.

Forced labour and human trafficking are not just supply chain issues. Companies are at risk of criminal liability for any direct use or forced labour or involvement in human trafficking.  The legal and regulatory provisions on forced labour and human trafficking vary between jurisdictions.  With the exception of Russia, whose relevant domestic law only applies to natural persons, legislation prohibits certain direct acts of trafficking and forced labour (or their equivalent) by corporates in the jurisdictions covered in this report.  Companies must avoid any direct involvement in forced labour and human trafficking to avoid liability.

Click here to download the full report. 

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