More than 20 million men, women, and children throughout the world are victims of severe forms of “human trafficking” (or “trafficking in persons”) as that term is currently defined under federal law.
The Bush and Obama Administrations tirelessly sought greater public awareness of this global scourge, and with strong bipartisan support were adamant that US tax dollars never, ever be used to support human trafficking in its many forms – bonded labor, forced labor, child labor, sex trafficking.
This zero tolerance policy gained teeth in early 2015 with enhancements to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), which now require many federal contractors to certify their human trafficking compliance when awarded contracts, and periodically throughout contract performance.
Moreover, the absolute prohibition on human trafficking reaches ALL federal contractors -- not only those expressly certifying compliance pursuant to the FAR clause. ALL contractors are on notice of the government’s overarching policy that it categorically will not permit our taxpayer dollars to contribute to trafficking. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court also adopted an expansive view of the False Claims Act, permitting cases to proceed against contractors on theories of false “implied certifications” in connection with charging the government for goods and services.
We anticipate that the Trump Administration and whistleblowers alike will leverage the groundwork laid by the previous two Administrations and the courts’ expanded False Claims Act jurisprudence in order to make examples of contractors who do not internalize the core requirement of keeping their supply chains free of trafficked labor. Notably, within his first full month in office, President Trump announced that:
“I’ll direct the federal agencies that have a role in preventing human trafficking to take a hard look at the resources and personnel that they’re currently devoting to this fight. Now they are devoting a lot, but we’re going to be devoting more. I want to make it clear today that my administration will focus on ending the absolutely horrific practice of human trafficking. I am prepared to bring the full force and weight of our government … whatever we can do, in order to solve this horrific problem.”
The “full force and weight of our government” plainly includes the ability to hold contractors accountable for certifications – whether express or implied – regarding human trafficking compliance.
In short, federal contractors who fail to ensure that the goods and services they exchange for taxpayer dollars are free of trafficked labor hazard crippling financial penalties, reputational harm, suspension and debarment.
And that is why Chaintegrity exists.
Working with Chaintegrity
We are seasoned corporate compliance and legal professionals dedicated to providing our customers with effective compliance solutions for eradicating human trafficking within global supply chains. Companies choose to work with us once they acknowledge that half-measures, dusty paper policies, pencil-whipped certifications, and willful blindness of the actual labor practices of subcontractors and suppliers is ultimately sham compliance, presents grave corporate risks, and only perpetuates the scourge of modern day slavery.
By working with Chaintegrity, contractors demonstrate a commitment to effective compliance, mitigate their human trafficking risks, and gain a reputation as an ethical business partner.
Please contact us to discuss the particular ways we can strengthen your company’s human trafficking compliance.