CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteIn the past week, over 1,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea while being smuggled from Libya to southern Europe. The most recent event, which occurred early Sunday morning, resulted in the deaths of more than 800 men, women, and children after an over capacity fishing vessel capsized with half of the passengers locked in the below deck cabin. These terrible events led to an emergency EU meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, where interior and foreign ministers decided on increasing maritime patrols, broadening search-and-rescue guidelines, and launching “civil-military” action against the networks of human traffickers in Libya. While the details of these operations have not been specified, one objective of the civil-military operations is to capture and destroy the ships being used by the traffickers.

Although the military operations appear to be a sound way to address the root cause of migrant trafficking stemming from Libya, many EU officials remain unconvinced that the EU will be able to take meaningful action. Latvian Interior Minister Richards Kozlovskis asked “How can it be done? It’s not so easy this civil-military operation. We’re talking of the territorial waters of third countries” while another senior EU official said “The idea of surgical strikes on traffickers is not very serious. Do they know enough about the traffickers to mount a military operation?” As the EU is placing emphasis on dissolving the human trafficking organizations responsible for sending hundreds of migrants to their deaths, the general public’s main complaint has been that the EU’s lackluster search-and-rescue response contributed to the steep death toll. It will be interesting to see how the European Union responds in the coming weeks as “there are thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East waiting in the chaos of Libya to board unseaworthy vessels bound for Europe.”

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SOURCE: The Guardian


CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThis week the California Department of Justice distributed letters to California manufacturers and retailers reminding them of the Transparency in Supply Chains Act which requires those it affects to disclose their efforts to remove human trafficking and modern slavery from their supply chains. Specifically the Transparency in Supply Chains Act applies to businesses operating in California with gross sales of $100 million or more. The letters accompany the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Resource Guide issued this week by California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, which helps those same retailers and manufacturers determine whether the act applies to them or not. “The California letters generally request a report, within 30 days of the letter date, as to whether the receiving companies are complying with the Act, or, if they believe they are exempt, an explanation as to why.”

Those companies that do have to comply with the Act are expected to disclose on their websites their efforts to, for example, verify that their supply chains evaluate risks of human trafficking and slavery, and audit suppliers to determine their compliance with company standards for human trafficking and slavery. While these areonly two of the things these companies are required to disclose, the reality is that the compliance process is much more complex and thorough, which it should be. “The California law is likely a harbinger of things to come. Similar legislation has been proposed in New York, and other states are sure to follow.”

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CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteUnder Armour Executive and Mission 14 Founder, Nick Cienski, is attempting to break a world record, all in the name of raising awareness for the growing problem of human trafficking. Cienski is currently attempting to climb the world’s 6 tallest mountains in 1 year to bring awareness to his cause. Starting with Mt. Everest and ending with Mt. Manaslu, Cienski will climb close to 70,000 vertical feet by the end of his journey. In addition to raising awareness for human trafficking, Cienski is asking donors to donate a penny per foot he climbs.

Cienski founded Mission 14, a nonprofit dedicated to help end international human trafficking, after a trip to Nicaragua where he and his wife Sandi witnessed the trafficking of children first hand. Since then, Cienski and his wife have made it their mission to help those who are stuck in human trafficking. For those who want to follow Nick Cienski’s journey, you can follow his movements and heart rate here. “Above all, Cienski wants people to educate themselves on the issue. ‘People don’t believe this happens in their community’ Cienski said.”

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CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteLast Thursday, Thailand’s National Assembly passed several amendments to the current anti-human trafficking laws that will make the penalties for engaging in such crimes more severe. The new laws allow prosecutors to pursue life prison sentences for individuals convicted of human trafficking. They also “open the way for more robust factory and industry inspections, especially in the fishing and seafood industry.” These amendments come days after an Associated Press report revealed that Thai seafood caught by men working in slavery-like conditions is often mixed in with other seafood at certain suppliers’ processing plants, making the slave-caught fish virtually untraceable.

Over the past few years, Thailand has been internationally criticizedfor their rampant human trafficking problem and overall inability to address the root causes. In 2014, Thailand received the lowest rating in the United States’ annual Trafficking in Person’s report, Tier 3. Since then, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has proclaimed that human trafficking is one of the key problems the country is working to address. Although these new laws seem to be a step in the right direction, not all Thai citizens are convinced that they will have a significant impact.

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CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThanks to evidence collected by the International Justice Mission (IJM), close to 40 people were rescued from slavery like conditions in a brick factory near Bangalore, India on February 18th by the local Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU). A few of the laborers were interviewed following their rescue and it was clear by their accounts that they had been held there as forced labor slaves. The individuals rescued were forced to work up to 20 hours a day and were paid just over a quarter a day, while children as young as 8 were also forced to work. When asked about the enslaved laborers, IJM worker Neenu Thomas said “Their hands were bad and it seemed like an allergic reaction to the clay. They never got medical treatment for it and when they asked the owners, they were refused.” IJM presented the initial evidence of slave labor to the local AHTU on February 10th which led to the rescue operation a week later.

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CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteAs of March 2, 2015, federal contractors now have to adhere to a new set of prohibitions and regulations related to human trafficking. The prohibitions and regulations stem from a final ruling issued on January 29, 2015, that aims to strengthen the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s (FAR) current provisions to prevent human trafficking. Government contractors and their employees are now explicitly prohibited from engaging in forms of human trafficking, using forced labor, destroying or denying access to identity or immigration documents, charging recruiting fees and numerous other actions associated with human trafficking and forced labor.The final ruling also now requires that government contractors implement an anti-human trafficking compliance plan and procedures to prevent human trafficking violations for any overseas contract valued at over $500,000. These new laws place stringent regulations on contractors and will hopefully deter federal contractors, their employees and subcontractors from engaging in human trafficking activities.

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SOURCE: Lexology


CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteU.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, went on Meet the Press this Sunday to discuss his bipartisan proposal that would focus on eliminating modern slavery around the world. “There are 27 million people today…around the world, that are enslaved, in rug-making facilities, brick kilns, all kinds of sex trafficking…These are crimes of opportunity, average business people [worldwide] are making money by enslaving people.” His proposal intends to authorize a 501(c)(3) non-profit grant-making foundation in the District of Columbia to be known as “The End Modern Slavery Initiative Foundation.” This foundation will fund programs and projects outside of the United States that will set clear defined goals and outcomes that can be empirically measured and achieve a 50 percent reduction of modern slavery in targeted populations. In addition, these programs and projects must contribute to freeing and sustaining the recovery of victims, preventing the enslavement of individuals, and enforcing laws to punish individuals and corporations that participate in modern slavery. Senator Corker’s bill is expected to hit the floor this week and would build off private-public partnerships to help combat this ongoing crisis.

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Linda Rizk, Thomas A. Rizk, and Rizk Ventures Launch Counter Human Trafficking Compliance Solutions, a Global Compliance and Advisory Company

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteLinda Rizk, Thomas A. Rizk, and Rizk Ventures, LLC announced today the launch of Counter Human Trafficking Compliance Solutions, LLC (CHTCS), a global compliance and advisory company that provides corporations the training, assessment, research, and supply chain transparency required to combat human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor within their global supply chains.

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SOURCE: PR Newswire

House Passes Three Foreign Affairs Committee Measures to Combat Human Trafficking

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThe United States House of Representatives passed three measures to combat human trafficking: The Human Trafficking Prioritization Act (H.R. 514), The International Megan’s Law to Prevent Demand for Child Sex Trafficking (H.R. 515), and The Human Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 357). The chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said while these three bills mark great progress in the fight against human trafficking, there is still so much more the government can do to eradicate all human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor around the world.

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Modern Slavery Bill: what does it mean for businesses?

CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteThe United Kingdom introduced a new modern slavery bill in June 2014 and it is expected to take effect in May 2015. It aims to bring together many legislative measures to help combat human trafficking. These measures include strengthening the power law enforcement has to control both land and sea borders in order to prevent human traffickers and victims from entering and leaving the country and creates a new Anti-slavery commissioner position in order to make efforts to combat human trafficking more coordinated. It is recommended that business put human trafficking policies in place to proactively protect themselves from the repercussions of the modern slavery bill.

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SOURCE: Lexology