U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican lawmaker from Missouri, introduced a bill that will hold corporate America accountable for making profits off the merits of slave labor, according to a press release.
The bill, “The Slave-Free Business Certification Act,” increases the corporate supply chain disclosure requirements while mandating regular audits. It will also require CEOs to certify that their companies’ supply chains are not participating in forced slave labor and will create penalties for firms that fail basic minimum standards for human rights.
“Corporate America and the celebrities that hawk their products have been playing this game for a long time —talk up corporate social responsibility and social justice at home while making millions of dollars off the slave labor that assembles their products. Executives build woke, progressive brands for American consumers, but happily outsource labor to Chinese concentration camps, all just to save a few bucks,” says Sen. Hawley.
“If corporate America wants to be the face of social change today, they should have to certify they are completely slave-free. Participate in independent audits to verify it and disclose steps to ensure slave labor won’t become part of the equation later on. And if they refuse to do so, they should pay the price. That’s social responsibility.”
The Slave-Free Business Certification Act does the following:
- Compels companies to disclose the steps they are taking to eradicate forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking from their supply chains
- Directs major companies to undergo independent audits to ensure they are not complicit in forced labor and trafficking in their supply chains
- Mandates public reports to the Department of Labor on the results of their independent audits
- Requires CEOs to certify that their supply chains are free from slave labor or that they have reported all instances of forced labor in their companies