AIM-Progress and its members have been concerned to see increasing cases of forced and child labor reported in US supply chains in recent months.
Evidence from the US Department of Labor and the National Human Trafficking Hotline indicates that cases of forced labor and child labor nationwide have increased significantly in the last five years. Cases of minors employed in violation of hazardous occupation laws and working outside of federally allowed hours have also increased across states and industries. Research indicates that increased global poverty, volatility and migration, alongside shortages in the US labor market are contributing factors in these trends.
AIM-Progress aims to positively impact people’s lives and promote respect for human rights, while delivering value to our members and their supply chains. With these goals in mind, we are supporting the development of a US initiative to strengthen the capability of our members’ co-manufacturers, co-packers, suppliers, labor providers and service providers to adhere to applicable labor laws, recruit labor responsibly and minimize risks of forced and child labor (see our statement here).
The initiative will aim to increase the identification of cases of forced and child labor, promote the provision of remediation for exploited workers and intends to help tackle root causes, including empowering workers to realize their rights and to raise issues. It will focus on both directly employed workers and those sourced via temporary staffing agencies or service providers, recognizing that the risks of forced and child labor apply to, or can impact, both groups.
As initial steps, the initiative will support members’ co-manufacturers, co-packers, suppliers, labor providers and service providers to:
AIM-Progress recognizes that we will only effectively address these kinds of issues and enable remediation for those affected if there is transparency on the issues of forced and child labor. AIM-Progress encourages its members to promote openness about issues identified with their co-manufacturers, co-packers, suppliers, labor providers and service providers and responsible and supportive remediation for cases of forced labor and child labor wherever feasible.
Download our full statement here.