ILAB, OSEC Notices

Notice of Initial Determination Updating the List of Products Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced/Indentured Child Labor Pursuant to Executive Order 13126   [9/11/2009]
[PDF]
FR Doc E9-21507
[Federal Register: September 11, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 175)]
[Notices]               
[Page 46794-46796]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11se09-76]                         

=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of the Secretary

 
Notice of Initial Determination Updating the List of Products 
Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced/Indentured 
Child Labor Pursuant to Executive Order 13126

AGENCY: Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Labor.

ACTION: Request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This initial determination proposes to update the list 
required by Executive Order No. 13126 (``Prohibition of Acquisition of 
Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor''), in accordance 
with the ``Procedural Guidelines for the Maintenance of the List of 
Products Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced or 
Indentured Child Labor.'' This notice sets forth an updated list of 
products, by country of origin, which the Department of Labor 
preliminarily believes might have been mined, produced, or manufactured 
by forced or indentured child labor. The Department of Labor invites 
public comment on its initial determination as to products that appear 
on the updated list set forth in this notice. The Department will 
consider all public comments prior to publishing a final determination 
updating the list of products, made in consultation and cooperation 
with the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security.

DATES: Information should be submitted to the Office of Child Labor, 
Forced Labor and Human Trafficking (OCFT) via one of the methods 
described below by 5 p.m., December 10, 2009.
    To Submit Information, or for Further Information, Contact: OCFT, 
Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor at 
(202) 693-4843 (this is not a toll free number). Comments, identified 
as ``Docket No. DOL-2009-0002,'' 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): OCFT at 202-693-4830.
     Mail, Express Delivery, Hand Delivery, and Messenger 
Service (2 copies): Charita Castro or Rachel Rigby at U.S. Department 
of Labor, OCFT, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 200 Constitution 
Avenue, NW., Room S-5317, Washington, DC 20210.
     E-mail: EO13126@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    Executive Order No. 13126 (EO 13126), which was published in the 
Federal Register on June 16, 1999 (64 FR 32383), declared that it was 
``the policy of the United States Government * * * that the executive 
agencies shall take appropriate actions to enforce the laws prohibiting 
the manufacture or importation of good, wares, articles, and 
merchandise mined, produced or manufactured wholly or in part by forced 
or indentured child labor.'' Pursuant to the EO 13126, and following 
public notice and comment, the Department of Labor published in the 
January 18, 2001, Federal Register, a

[[Page 46795]]

final list of products (the ``List''), identified by their country of 
origin, that the Department, in consultation and cooperation with the 
Departments of State and Treasury [relevant responsibilities now within 
the Department of Homeland Security], had a reasonable basis to believe 
might have been mined, produced or manufactured with forced or 
indentured child labor (66 FR 5353). In addition to the List, the 
Department also published on January 18, 2001, ``Procedural Guidelines 
for Maintenance of the List of Products Requiring Federal Contractor 
Certification as to Forced or Indentured Child Labor'' (Procedural 
Guidelines), which provide for maintaining, reviewing, and, as 
appropriate, revising the List (66 FR 5351). The current List and the 
Procedural Guidelines can be accessed on the Internet at http://
www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm or can be obtained from: OCFT, 
Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Room S-5317, U.S. Department of 
Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 
(202) 693-4843; fax (202) 693-4830.
    Pursuant to Section 3 of the Executive Order, the Federal 
Acquisition Regulatory Councils published a final rule in the Federal 
Register on January 18, 2001, providing, amongst other requirements, 
that Federal contractors who supply products that appear on the List 
issued by the Department of Labor must certify to the contracting 
officer that the contractor, or, in the case of an incorporated 
contractor, a responsible official of the contractor, has made a good 
faith effort to determine whether forced or indentured child labor was 
used to mine, produce or manufacture any product furnished under the 
contract and that, on the basis of those efforts, the contractor is 
unaware of any such use of child labor. See 48 CFR Subpart 22.15.

II. Update to EO 13126 List

    Pursuant to Sections D through G of the Procedural Guidelines, the 
EO 13126 List may be updated through considerations of submissions by 
individuals or through OCFT's own initiative. When updating the List on 
its own initiative, the Department of Labor must publish in the Federal 
Register a notice of initial determination, which includes any proposed 
alteration to the List. The Department will consider all public 
comments prior to the publication of a final determination of an 
updated list, which is made in consultation and cooperation with the 
Departments of State and Homeland Security.

III. Definition of Forced/Indentured Child Labor

    Under Section 6(c) of EO 13126:
    ``Forced or indentured child labor'' means all work or service--
    (1) Exacted from any person under the age of 18 under the menace of 
any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not 
offer himself voluntarily; or
    (2) Performed by any person under the age of 18 pursuant to a 
contract the enforcement of which can be accomplished by process or 
penalties.

Information Sought

    The Department is requesting public comment on the proposed updated 
EO 13126 List (see list of products and countries below), the inclusion 
of certain products on the List, the exclusion of other products from 
the List, and any other issue related to the fair and effective 
implementation of this aspect of EO 13126. This notice is a general 
solicitation of comments from the public. All submitted comments will 
be made a part of the record of the review referred to above and will 
be made available for public inspection.
    In preparing the initial determination updating the List, the 
Department of Labor considered the products and countries mentioned in 
its child labor reports. It also considered the testimony, written 
submissions, and other information presented to the Department, as well 
as research on 77 countries carried out by the Department, in 
connection with its mandates under the 2005 Trafficking Victims 
Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) to produce 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.'' The TVPRA list encompassed both 
goods made with forced labor and child labor, whereas the EO 13126 List 
only includes products made with forced or indentured child labor. 
Information on the TVPRA can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/
programs/ocft/tvpra.htm. Finally, the Department considered information 
provided in two public submissions alleging forced or indentured child 
labor. The first was a public submission by Free the Slaves alleging 
forced child labor in the cocoa industry in Cote d'Ivoire, which was 
accepted for review by the Department on March 20, 2001. The second was 
a public submission accepted for review on October 1, 2007 by State 
Department Watch alleging the use of forced child labor in the 
production of bricks, coal, foundry products, chemicals, cotton, grape 
products, toys, and fireworks in China. The Department has consulted 
and cooperated with the Departments of State and Homeland Security in 
the initial determination of the updated list of products.
    In developing the updated list of products, our review focused on 
available information concerning the use of forced or indentured child 
labor. The lack of available information does not, by itself, establish 
that, in any particular country, or for any particular product, forced 
or indentured child labor is not being used. Government resources for 
acquiring information are limited. In addition, information about 
actual working conditions in some countries is difficult or impossible 
to obtain, for a variety of reasons. For example, governments may be 
unable or unwilling to cooperate with international efforts, or the 
efforts of non-governmental organizations, to uncover and address 
abuses. Institutions or organizations that might uncover such 
information, such as free and independent news media, trade unions, and 
non-governmental organizations may not exist. In short, the list of 
products should not be taken as presenting a complete picture of the 
use of forced or indentured child labor around the world.
    As outlined in the Procedural Guidelines, several factors were 
weighed in determining whether or not a product should be placed on the 
updated list: the nature of the information describing the use of 
forced or indentured child labor; the source of the information; the 
date of the information; the extent of corroboration of the information 
by appropriate sources; whether the information involved more than an 
isolated incident; and whether recent and credible efforts are being 
made to address forced or indentured child labor in a particular 
country and industry.
    Based on recent, credible, and appropriately corroborated 
information from various sources, the Departments of Labor, State, and 
Homeland Security have preliminarily concluded that there is a 
reasonable basis to believe that the following products, identified by 
their country of origin, might have been mined, produced, or 
manufactured by forced or indentured child labor. The below list of 
products, by country of origin, constitutes the initial determination 
updating the EO 13126 list issued January 18, 2001.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Product                             Countries
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bamboo..............................  Burma

[[Page 46796]]


Beans (green, soy, yellow)..........  Burma
Brazil Nuts/Chestnuts...............  Bolivia
Bricks..............................  Burma, China, India, Nepal,
                                       Pakistan
Carpets.............................  India, Nepal, Pakistan
Charcoal............................  Brazil
Coal................................  Pakistan
Coca (stimulant plant)..............  Colombia
Cocoa...............................  Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria
Coffee..............................  Cote d'Ivoire
Cotton..............................  Benin, Burkina Faso, China,
                                       Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Cottonseed (hybrid).................  India
Diamonds............................  Sierra Leone
Electronics.........................  China
Embroidered Textiles (zari).........  India, Nepal
Garments............................  Argentina, India, Thailand
Gold................................  Burkina Faso
Granite.............................  Nigeria
Gravel (crushed stones).............  Nigeria
Pornography.........................  Russia
Rice................................  Burma, India, Mali
Rubber..............................  Burma
Shrimp..............................  Thailand
Stones..............................  India, Nepal
Sugarcane...........................  Bolivia, Burma
Teak................................  Burma
Tilapia (fish)......................  Ghana
Tobacco.............................  Malawi
Toys................................  China
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department of Labor invites public comment on whether these 
products (and/or other products, regardless of whether they are 
mentioned in this Notice) should be included on the updated List of 
products requiring Federal contractor certification as to the use of 
forced or indentured child labor. To the extent possible, comments 
provided should address the Procedural Guideline factors discussed 
above. The Department is also interested in public comments relating to 
whether products initially determined to be on the List are designated 
with appropriate specificity and what, if any, alternative designations 
would better serve the purposes of EO 13126.
    The bibliographies providing the preliminary basis for including 
each product on the list are available on the Internet at http://
www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm.
    As explained, following receipt and consideration of comments on 
the updated List set out above, the Department of Labor, in 
consultation and cooperation with the Departments of State Homeland 
Security, will issue a final determination in the Federal Register 
providing a final list of products. The Department of Labor intends to 
continue to revise the List periodically, to add and/or delete 
products, as justified by new information.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 2nd day of September 2009.
Sandra Polaski,
Deputy Undersecretary, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.
[FR Doc. E9-21507 Filed 9-10-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-28-P