ILAB, OSEC Notices

Notice of Proposed Procedural Guidelines for the Development and Maintenance of the List of Goods From Countries Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor Pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005   [10/1/2007]
[PDF]
FR Doc E7-19310

[Federal Register: October 1, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 189)]
[Notices]               
[Page 55808-55811]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr01oc07-90]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of the Secretary

 
Notice of Proposed Procedural Guidelines for the Development and 
Maintenance of the List of Goods From Countries Produced by Child Labor 
or Forced Labor Pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection 
Reauthorization Act of 2005

AGENCY: Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments regarding proposed procedural 
guidelines for the development and maintenance of a list of goods from 
countries produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of 
international standards.

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SUMMARY: This notice sets forth proposed procedural guidelines 
pertaining to the development and maintenance of a list of goods from 
foreign countries produced by child labor or forced labor in violation 
of international standards (``the List''), pursuant to the Trafficking 
Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005. The guidelines provide 
information as to the submission of information, review, and reporting 
process used by the U.S. Department of Labor's (``DOL'') Office of 
Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (``the Office'') in 
maintaining and revising the List. DOL invites all interested persons 
to submit written comments on the proposed guidelines.

DATES: Comments regarding the proposed procedural guidelines must be 
received by the Office on or before October 31, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Comments, identified as ``Docket No. DOL-2007-0004,'' may be 
submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 

The portal includes instructions for submitting comments. Parties 
submitting responses electronically are encouraged not to submit paper 
copies.
     Facsimile (fax): ILAB/Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, 
and Human Trafficking at 202-693-4830.
     Mail, Express Delivery, Hand Delivery, and Messenger 
Service: Submit an original and three copies of written comments and 
attachments to Charita Castro or Rachel Rigby at U.S. Department of 
Labor, ILAB/Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, 
200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room S-5317, Washington, DC 20210. If 
possible, submitters should provide written comments on a computer 
disc.
    All submissions received must include the agency name and docket 
number. They should clearly identify the party filing the submission 
and should be signed and dated. Note that security-related problems may 
result in significant delays in receiving comments and other written 
materials by mail.
    Docket Access: All comments received will be made available to the 
public on the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov 

and at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room 
S-5317, Washington, DC 20210. Because comments sent to the docket are 
available for public inspection, the

[[Page 55809]]

Office cautions commenters against including in their comments personal 
or confidential information such as social security numbers and birth 
dates. The Office will not respond directly to comments or return them 
to the submitter.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charita Castro or Rachel Rigby, Office 
of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of 
International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor at (202) 693-
4843; fax (202) 693-4830.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 105(b)(1) of the Trafficking Victims 
Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (``TVPRA''), Public Law 109-164 
(2006), directed the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Bureau of 
International Labor Affairs (``ILAB'') of the U.S. Department of Labor 
(``DOL''), to ``carry out additional activities to monitor and combat 
forced labor and child labor in foreign countries.'' Section 105(b)(2) 
lists these activities specifically as those to:
    (A) Monitor the use of forced labor and child labor in violation of 
international standards;
    (B) Provide information regarding trafficking in persons for the 
purpose of forced labor to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking 
of the Department of State for inclusion in trafficking in persons 
report required by Section 110(b) of the Trafficking Victims Protection 
Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7107(b));
    (C) Develop and make available to the public a list of goods from 
countries that the Bureau of International Labor Affairs has reason to 
believe are produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of 
international standards;
    (D) Work with persons who are involved in the production of goods 
on the list described in subparagraph (C) to create a standard set of 
practices that will reduce the likelihood that such persons will 
produce goods using the labor described in such subparagraph; and
    (E) Consult with other departments and agencies of the United 
States Government to reduce forced and child labor internationally and 
ensure that products made by forced labor and child labor in violation 
of international standards are not imported into the United States.
    See 22 U.S.C. 7112(b).
    The Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking 
within ILAB has been designated to carry out the DOL mandates in the 
TVPRA. As part of these efforts, and in furtherance of ILAB's broader 
mission of working to create a more stable, secure, and prosperous 
international economic system in which the basic rights of workers and 
children are respected and protected, the Office conducts research on 
child labor and forced labor worldwide, consulting such sources as 
DOL's Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor; the Department of 
State's annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and 
Trafficking in Persons Reports; other reports by governmental, non-
governmental, and international organizations as well as academic and 
research institutions; and other sources. These procedural guidelines 
will provide a framework for ILAB's implementation of the TVPRA 
mandate, by establishing procedures for the submission of information, 
agency review, and reporting process in developing and maintaining the 
List.
    Once these procedural guidelines are finalized, the Office will 
publish a request for information concerning goods produced by forced 
labor or child labor in violation of international standards. The 
Office may also conduct hearings to assist in the development of the 
list of goods produced by forced labor or child labor in violation of 
international standards (``the List''). Following the information-
gathering phase, the Office will evaluate the information obtained 
according to the process outlined in its final procedural guidelines. 
Goods and countries that meet these criteria outlined in the procedural 
guidelines will be placed on a List which will be developed in 
consultation with appropriate U.S. government agencies. The List will 
be published in the Federal Register and on the DOL Web site.
    DOL will continue to maintain and update the List over time, 
through its own research, interagency consultations, and through public 
submissions of information. Procedures for the ongoing maintenance of 
the List are described below, and key terms used in these Guidelines 
are defined below.

Proposed Procedural Guidelines

A. Sources of Information and Factors Considered for the Development of 
the List

    The Office will make use of all relevant information, whether 
gathered through research, public submissions of information, a public 
hearing, interagency consultations or other means, in developing the 
List. In the interest of transparency, the Office will not rely on 
confidential or classified information in developing the List. The 
Office may request that any such information brought to its attention 
be declassified. In evaluating information, the Office will consider 
whether the situations described meet the definitions of child labor, 
forced labor, and related terms, as defined in these guidelines. The 
Office will also consider and weigh several factors, including:
    1. Nature of information. Whether the information about child labor 
or forced labor gathered from research, public submissions, hearing 
testimony, or other sources is relevant and probative, and meets the 
definitions of child labor or forced labor.
    2. Date of information. Whether the information about child labor 
or forced labor in the production of the good(s) is no more than 7 
years old at the time of receipt. More current information will 
generally be given priority, and information older than 7 years will 
generally not be considered.
    3. Source of information. Whether the information, whether from 
primary or secondary sources, is from a source whose methodology, prior 
publications, degree of familiarity and experience with international 
labor standards, and/or reputation for accuracy and objectivity, 
warrants a determination that it is relevant and probative.
    4. Extent of corroboration. The extent to which the information 
about the use of child labor or forced labor in the production of a 
good(s) is corroborated by other sources.
    5. Significant incidence of child labor or forced labor. Whether 
the information about the use of child labor or forced labor in the 
production of a good(s) warrants a determination that the incidence of 
such practices is significant and/or prevalent in the country in 
question. Information that relates only to a single company or 
facility; or that indicates an isolated incident of child or forced 
labor, will ordinarily not weigh in favor of a finding that a good is 
produced in violation of international standards. Information that 
demonstrates a significant incidence of forced labor or child labor in 
the production of a particular good(s), although not necessarily 
representing a pattern of practice in the industry as a whole, will 
ordinarily weigh in favor of a finding that a good is produced in 
violation of international standards.
    In determining which goods are to be placed on the List, the Office 
will as appropriate take into consideration the stages in the chain of 
a good's production. Whether a good is placed on the List may depend on 
which stage of production used child labor or forced labor. For 
example, if child labor or forced labor was only used in the 
extraction, harvesting, assembly, or production of raw materials or

[[Page 55810]]

component articles, and these are subsequently used under non-violative 
conditions in the manufacture or processing of a final good, only the 
raw materials/component articles and the country/ies where they were 
extracted, harvested, assembled, or produced, as appropriate, may be 
placed on the List. If child labor or forced labor was used in both the 
production or extraction of raw materials/component articles and the 
manufacture or processing of a final good, then both the raw materials/
component articles and the final good, and the country/ies in which 
such labor was used, may be placed on the List. This is to ensure a 
direct correspondence between the goods and countries which appear on 
the List, and the use of child labor or forced labor.
    Goods and countries that meet the criteria outlined in the 
procedural guidelines will be placed on a List, which will be developed 
in consultation with appropriate U.S. government agencies. Before 
publication of the List, DOL will inform the relevant foreign 
governments of their presence on the List and request their response. 
DOL will review these responses and make a determination as to their 
relevance. Government, industry, or third party efforts to combat child 
labor or forced labor will be taken into consideration, although they 
are not necessarily sufficient, in and of themselves, to prevent a good 
and country from being listed. The List, along with a listing of the 
sources used to identify the goods and countries on it, will be 
published in the Federal Register and on the DOL Web site. The 
published List will represent DOL's conclusions based on all relevant 
information available at the time of publication.
    For each good and country (``entry''), the List will indicate 
whether the good is made using child labor, forced labor, or both. As 
the List will continue to be maintained and updated, the List will 
indicate the date when each entry was included. The List will not 
include any company or individual name. DOL's published listing of 
source material used in identifying goods and countries on the List 
will be redacted to remove any company or individual name.

B. Maintenance of the List

    1. Following publication of the List, the Office will periodically 
review and revise the List, as appropriate. The Office conducts ongoing 
research and monitoring of child labor and forced labor, and if 
relevant information is obtained through such research, the Office may 
add an entry to, or remove an entry from, the List using the process 
described in section A above. The Office may also update the list on 
the basis of public information submissions, as detailed below.
    2. Any party may file an information submission with the Office 
regarding the addition, maintenance, or removal of an entry from the 
List.
    3. The Office will determine whether to accept a submission of 
information for review. The Office may communicate with the submitter 
during this period regarding any matter relating to the submission. In 
general, the Office will accept a submission of information if it 
provides relevant and probative information and if a review of the 
submission would not be inconsistent with applicable laws or 
regulations.
    4. The Office may decline to accept a submission for review if it 
determines that: the submission does not identify clearly the party 
filing the submission or is not signed and dated; the submission 
contains confidential or classified information; the submission does 
not provide relevant or probative information; or, the information is 
not within the scope of the TVPRA and/or does not address child labor 
or forced labor as defined herein. Whether or not the Office accepts a 
submission for review, all submissions received will be made available 
to the public on the DOL Web site, consistent with applicable laws or 
regulations.
    5. If the Office accepts a submission of information, the Office 
will conduct such further examination of other available information 
relating to the good and country as necessary and appropriate to assist 
the Office in making a determination concerning the addition, 
maintenance, or removal of the good from the List. The Office will 
undertake consultations with relevant U.S. government agencies and may 
hold a public hearing(s) for the purpose of receiving relevant 
information from interested persons.
    6. In order for an entry to be removed from the List, any person 
filing information regarding the entry must provide information that 
demonstrates that there is no significant incidence of child labor or 
forced labor in the production of the particular good in the country in 
question. Government, industry, or third party efforts to combat child 
labor or forced labor will be taken into consideration, although they 
are not necessarily sufficient, in and of themselves, to warrant 
removal of a good and country from the List.
    7. Where the Office has made a determination concerning the 
addition, maintenance, or removal of the entry from the List, and where 
otherwise appropriate, the Office will publish a revised List in the 
Federal Register and on the DOL Web site.

C. Key Terms Used in the Guidelines

    ``Child Labor''--``Child labor'' means all work performed by a 
person below the age of 15. It also includes all work performed by a 
person below the age of 18 in the following practices: (A) All forms of 
slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale or 
trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom, or forced or 
compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory recruitment of 
children for use in armed conflict; (B) the use, procuring, or offering 
of a child for prostitution, for the production of pornography or for 
pornographic purposes; (C) the use, procuring, or offering of a child 
for illicit activities in particular for the production and trafficking 
of drugs; and (D) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in 
which it is carried out, is likely to harm the health, safety, or 
morals of children. The work referred to in subparagraph (D) shall be 
determined by the laws, regulations, or competent authority of the 
country involved. This definition shall not apply to work specifically 
authorized by national laws, including work done by children and young 
persons in schools for general, vocational or technical education or in 
other training institutions, where such work is carried out in 
accordance with conditions prescribed by the competent authority and 
does not prejudice children's attendance in school or their capacity to 
benefit from the instruction received.
    ``Countries''--``Countries'' means any foreign country or 
territory, including any overseas dependent territory or possession of 
a foreign country, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
    ``Forced Labor''--``Forced labor'' means all work or service which 
is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty for its 
nonperformance and for which the worker does not offer himself 
voluntarily, and includes indentured labor. ``Forced labor'' includes 
work provided or obtained by force, fraud, or coercion, including (1) 
By threats of serious harm to, or physical restraint against any 
person; (2) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause 
the person to believe that, if the person did not perform such labor or 
services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or 
physical restraint; or (3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of 
law or the legal process. For purposes of this definition, forced labor 
does not include work specifically authorized by national laws where 
such work is carried out in

[[Page 55811]]

accordance with conditions prescribed by the competent authority, 
including (a) any work or service required by compulsory military 
service laws for work of a purely military character; (b) work or 
service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the 
citizens of a fully self-governing country; (c) work or service exacted 
from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law, 
provided that the said work or service is carried out under the 
supervision and control of a public authority; and (d) work or service 
required in cases of emergency, such as in the event of war or of a 
calamity or threatened calamity, fire, flood, famine, earthquake, 
violent epidemic or epizootic diseases, invasion by animal, insect or 
vegetable pests, and in general any circumstance that would endanger 
the existence or the well-being of the whole or part of the population.
    ``Goods''--``Goods'' means goods, wares, articles, materials, 
items, supplies, and merchandise.
    ``Indentured Labor''--``Indentured labor'' means all labor 
undertaken pursuant to a contract entered into by an employee the 
enforcement of which can be accompanied by process or penalties.
    ``International Standards''--``International standards'' means 
generally accepted international standards relating to forced labor and 
child labor, such as international conventions and treaties. These 
Guidelines employ definitions of ``child labor'' and ``forced labor'' 
derived from international standards.
    ``Produced''--``Produced'' means mined, extracted, harvested, 
farmed, produced, created, and manufactured.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 25th day of September 2007.
Charlotte M. Ponticelli,
Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs.
[FR Doc. E7-19310 Filed 9-28-07; 8:45 am]

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