CALIFORNIA CORPORATIONS PLEAD THE FIFTH REGARDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING ACT
A number of distinguished corporations have refused to adhere to The California Transparency of Supply Chains Act (SB-657), which speaks out against human trafficking in supply chains. This act does not affect all U.S. corporations but currently applies to “companies that: 1. are a retailer seller or manufacturer; 2. have annual worldwide gross receipts that exceed $100 million, and 3. do business in California.” While more than 400 companies have acknowledged this movement and issued a public statement, 85 firms have yet to abide. Among them are upscale clothing brand, X, and defense manufacturer, Y. But what is keeping these publicly recognized companies from conforming to such a proactive movement?
KnowTheChain, an anti-trafficking organization, works to prevent the fact that “there are at least 20.9 million victims of forced labor, and that about 90 percent of today’s forced labor is exacted in the private economy.” They are addressing the issue at hand by demanding answers from companies who have remained silent on this act. The most recent companies to act in accordance with SB-657 were Lululemon and Baker Hughes who both clarified that their public statements were in the works. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights is onboard with SB-657 stating that, “this responsibility extends to conducting due diligence on a company’s ‘business relationships’ – which include its suppliers – and also to the issue of human trafficking, a situation in which so many rights are abused.”
KnowTheChain has provided a list of companies that have offered statements in order to keep the public updated. Their site not only addresses human trafficking issues but tracks human rights impacts of numerous worldwide corporations.
X, Y, and Z represent real corporations whose names we removed as a courtesy.