Migration, Modern-day Slavery and the CA Transparency in Supply Chains Act

Across the globe, millions of men and women migrate in order to find jobs. Many of them provide for their families by working in factories to manufacture clothing and footwear for some of the largest international brands. While some of these workers are successful in finding suitable employment, many others face difficulties ranging from homesickness to bad working conditions, and may even be forced into trafficking – otherwise known as modern-day slavery.

NotreDameStudents

Notre Dame students attend the FLA forum to learn more about labor conditions in apparel supply chains

The FLA hosted a forum for affiliates, students and faculty at the University of Notre Dame on October 3, to discuss migration and modern-day slavery in supply chains. The event included a panel on the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, and Mufaddal Ezzy, Policy Advisor for the California State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, joined Marsha Dickson (Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, University of Delaware, and President of Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Business), Marcela Manubens (Senior Vice-President, Global Human Rights and Social Responsibility, Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation), and Lejo Sibbel (FLA) to discuss the implications of the Act on workers, businesses and the state of California.

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (SB 657), which goes into effect on January 1, 2012, requires retail sellers and manufacturers doing business in California – with annual worldwide gross receipts that exceed $100 million – to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains. The expressed aim of the Act is to provide consumers in California, through the power of information, with a tool for leveraging their purchasing power to eradicate slavery and trafficking from product supply chains. In other words, by compelling companies to publicly disclose information concerning their efforts to eradicate trafficking and slavery from their supply chains, consumers can decide from which company they wish to buy or with which they wish to do business.

CA_Transparency_Act

Marcela Manubens (PVH) and Lejo Sibbel (FLA) discuss the Act at the October 2011 Stakeholder Forum at the University of Notre Dame

The FLA has developed a guide to provide affiliates with more information on the requirements of the Act, enable companies to determine if they are covered by the Act, and, if so, how affiliation with FLA may help in develop­ing the disclosure required under the Act. It also includes a basic step-by-step guide to develop a disclosure web page that FLA company affiliates may wish to use as a tool when considering how to meet the disclosure requirements of the Act.  Learn more and download resources here.

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