The California State Senate recently approved a progressive new human trafficking bill, SB 657, that would require manufacturers and retailers to develop, implement, and maintain policies to help eliminate human trafficking in their supply chains. One of the bill's more interesting points is the requirement that companies take good faith measures to eradicate human trafficking in their existing supply chains, rather than merely stopping business in areas found to be tainted by slavery. The bill as written would not apply to companies with less than $2 million in annual sales.
The bill was passed to the California State Assembly for consideration on January 28.
The executive director of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, a Los Angeles-area organization that works on behalf of human trafficking victims, has issued the following statement:
“We commend the California State Senate for its passage of SB 657, which will require the California business community to pro-actively prevent forced labor by ensuring that all of the suppliers in its supply chain will comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking in the countries in which they do business, and that where slavery and human trafficking is found in its supply chain, it will seek eradication.
The advancement of this legislation comes at an opportune time, as we are in the midst of commemorating National Human Trafficking and Slavery Prevention month to raise awareness for the at least 17,000 people trafficked into the United States every year, and California as one of the top four points of entry into the U.S.
SB 657 represents a significant step towards the elimination of modern-day trafficking and slavery and, with the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation soon approaching, we are reminded of the need to eliminate human trafficking and slavery once and for all.”
Photo credit: Bill Ferris