Millions of men, women, and children are enslaved around the world, producing the raw materials that create products we use every day. Slaves pick the cotton that ends up in our t-shirts, mine the tungsten that makes our laptops run, and harvest the cocoa we find so delicious. But two pieces of pending legislation in California could help end the use of slavery in major corporations’ supply chains. Will you help make them law?
The proposed legislation would be California state law, but if it passes, the effects will be felt all over the country and all over the world by reducing the market for slave-made goods. The California Supply Chain Transparency Act of 2010 (SB 657) would require retailers and manufacturers doing business in California and having more than $100 million in annual worldwide gross receipts to publicly disclose some basic things about what they’re doing to end slavery in their supply chains. That includes whether or not the company uses verification to evaluate and address human trafficking risks in product supply chains including if they used 3rd party verification, conducts audits of suppliers and whether audits are independent and unannounced, direct supplier certification and what they do to train and maintain internal accountability for employees and contractors failing to meet company standards on slavery and trafficking.With this information, consumers across the country will have better tools to help them make ethical decisions about what they purchase.
Because California is such a large economy, this new law would affect major corporations all over the world, including those who produce some of the biggest supply chain slavery offenders, like consumer electronics, clothing, and food products. Of course, that means the big business interests who would be affected are fighting hard to keep the law from actually requiring them to simply tell us what they do, if anything, to keep slavery out of the products they sell us. Right now, they’re hiding behind the skirts of big business association like California Manufacturers and Technology Association and a mountain of cash, but they are fighting. And that’s why we need you, wherever you live, to let California know the world is watching their decision.