British-born actress and human rights campaigner Julia Ormond, a former goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, says companies should “pour resources into [developing] a really viable, systemic solution” for ridding their supply chains of trafficked or enslaved labor.
Ormond’s appeal comes in the wake of the 2012 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which requires high-revenue companies doing business in California to report publicly on their efforts to eliminate slavery and human trafficking in their supply chains. Ormond describes the act, which she helped lobby for, as a “catalyst step” towards promoting greater corporate disclosure and ultimately towards creating a robust system of slavery-free product certification.
While labor rights and anti-trafficking campaigners have broadly welcomed the act, which is the first of its kind in the world, some are frustrated at the pace of change. Ormond herself concedes that claims about the legislation being watered down and lacking teeth represent “legitimate opinion”. The law does not provide for fines or other penalties in cases of non-compliance – an oversight that most campaign groups would like to see corrected.
Earlier this year, members of the US House of Representatives, Carolyn Maloney and John Carter, introduced the bipartisan Human Trafficking Reporting Act in an attempt to get similar legislation onto the federal statute books. A parallel proposal is currently before the Senate as well. Similar efforts are taking place in the United Kingdom as well.
Learn more at Oliver Balch’s The Guardian article: Julia Ormond calls on businesses to do more to stamp out human trafficking.