ATEST Applauds New U.S. Government Contract Regulations
For Release: January 20, 2015
Contact: Liz Baker, email@example.com, 202-503-3221
U.S. Regulations seek to Eliminate Trafficking in Government Supply Chains
Washington, DC—Anti-slavery coalition the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) today welcomed the Federal Acquisition Regulation; Ending Trafficking in Persons rule by the Defense Department, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The regulation follows President Obama’s September 2012 Executive Order (EO 13627) that sought to strengthen protections against human trafficking by U.S. Government contractors and their subcontractors.
“The U.S. Government is a leader in the fight against human trafficking and the Executive Order holds us accountable to trafficking within our own government supply chains,” said Melysa Sperber, Director of ATEST. “Today’s regulation codifies how this can be done, bringing us one step close to eliminating slavery from federal contracts.”
One important inclusion in the regulation is the prohibition of recruitment fees charged by employers. Without this prohibition, workers can pay exorbitant recruitment fees with the understanding that a desirable job awaits—which may not match the real conditions of work. Unable to repay these fees and leave, workers may end up working in situations that are effectively indentured servitude or slavery.
“The prohibition of fees throughout the labor supply chain is central to realizing the federal government’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on trafficking,” said Sperber. “This is a critical step to ensuring that US taxpayer money does not inadvertently go to perpetuating modern day slavery.”
The Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) is a U.S.-based coalition that advocates for solutions to prevent and end all forms of human trafficking and modern slavery around the world. ATEST was founded by Humanity United in 2007. For more information, visit http://endslaveryandtrafficking.org.
ATEST member organizations include: Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), End Child Prostitution and Trafficking – USA (ECPAT-USA), Free the Slaves, Futures Without Violence, International Justice Mission (IJM), National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), National Network for Youth (NN4Y), Polaris, Safe Horizon, Solidarity Center, Verité, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and World Vision.