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The Business Case for Lawyers to Advocate for Corporate Supply Chains Free of Labor Trafficking and Child Labor

American University Law Review E. Christopher Johnson Jr., Fernanda Beraldi, Edwin Broecker, Emily Brown, and Susan Maslow

Below is an excerpt:

Labor trafficking, forced labor, and child labor exploit almost 200 million men, women, and children around the world. Such large numbers make it likely that everyone is indirectly capitalizing on this exploitative labor—anywhere from the supply chain fueling a client’s business profits to the clothes, food, technology, and other products one uses on a daily basis. However, these numbers all represent people. As such, there is a human toll because many of these men, women, and children are suffering without pay to help us live our relatively comfortable lives. This Article will discuss how, in addition to an economic basis, legal and ethical principles should encourage lawyers to be on the vanguard of ending these and other exploitative practices in supply chains. With respect to the latter, at the top of this list is a wonderful new tool introduced by the ABA Business Law Section Working Group to Draft Human Rights Protections in International Supply Contracts (the “Working Group”) consisting of Model Contract Clauses (“MCCs”) that will allow businesses to incorporate human rights protections into purchase orders and other supply contracts.


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Originally published in American University Law Review, June 2019