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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

ILAB News Release: [12/14/2012]
Contact Name: Gloria Della or Laura McGinnis
Phone Number: (202) 693-4679 or x4653
Release Number: 12-2438-NAT

US Department of Labor releases toolkit to help businesses combat child and forced labor in global supply chains

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of International Labor Affairs today introduced Reducing Child Labor and Forced Labor: A Toolkit for Responsible Businesses, the first guide developed by the U.S. government to help businesses combat child labor and forced labor in their global supply chains.

"Encouraging businesses to reduce child and forced labor in their supply chains helps advance fundamental human rights that are at the core of worker dignity, whether here in the U.S. or abroad," Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said in a video message announcing the toolkit.

The free, easy-to-use toolkit was unveiled during an event at Labor Department headquarters for representatives of government, industry, labor and civil society organizations that are at the forefront of efforts to prevent labor abuses in the production of goods. Speakers included Carol Pier, acting deputy undersecretary of ILAB; Eric Biel, acting associate deputy undersecretary of ILAB; and David Abramowitz, vice president of policy and government relations at Humanity United.

The toolkit highlights the need for a social compliance program that integrates a company's policies and practices to ensure that the company addresses child labor and forced labor throughout its supply chain. It provides practical, step-by-step guidance on eight critical elements that will be helpful for companies that do not have a social compliance system in place or those needing to strengthen existing systems. An integrated social compliance system includes: engaging stakeholders and partners, assessing risks and impacts, developing a code of conduct, communicating and training across the supply chain, monitoring compliance, remediating violations, independent review and reporting performance.

ILAB created the toolkit as part of its responsibility under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. To access the toolkit, visit http://www.dol.gov/ChildLaborBusinessToolkit. More information about ILAB and its programs is available at http://www.dol.gov/ilab/.