Regulating business involvement in labor exploitation and human trafficking

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Alexis A. Aronowitz University College Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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This article explores what is known about human trafficking and labor exploitation in the form of forced labor, and how this is regulated in business supply chains and the service industry. Using case studies, this article examines three approaches to regulating exploitative labor: (a) stakeholder initiatives, including certification schemes; (b) government legislation (Government Procurement Regulations and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act); (c) consumer and employee advocacy. The article first addresses what is known about exploitation in the labor sector, then addresses sector-initiated programs, followed by domestic legislation aimed at regulating businesses. The final section addresses consumer and employee advocacy initiatives. A discussion follows each section addressing the effectiveness and limitations of these mechanisms in decreasing instances of human trafficking and forced labor.

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