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Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
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ILAB, OSEC Notices

Request for Information on Business Practices To Reduce the   [4/15/2010]
[PDF]
FR Doc 2010-8642
[Federal Register: April 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 72)]
[Notices]
[Page 19659-19661]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15ap10-71]

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Office of the Secretary of Labor


Request for Information on Business Practices To Reduce the
Likelihood of Forced Labor or Child Labor in the Production of Goods

AGENCY: Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Labor.

ACTION: Request for information.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking information on
current practices of firms, business associations, and other private
sector groups to reduce the likelihood of child labor and forced labor
in the production of goods. This information will aid DOL in fulfilling
its mandate under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization
Act of 2005 to work with persons who are involved in the production of
goods made with forced labor or child labor to create a standard set of
practices that will reduce the likelihood that such persons will
produce goods using such labor.

DATES: Information should be submitted to the Office of Child Labor,
Forced Labor and Human Trafficking (OCFT) within the Bureau of
International Labor Affairs (ILAB) via one of the methods described
below by 5 p.m., on June 14, 2010.
    To Submit Information, or for Further Information, Contact: ILAB/
OCFT, U.S. Department of Labor, at (202) 693-4843 (this is not a toll
free number). Comments, identified as ``Docket No. DOL-2010-0002,'' may
be submitted by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
The portal

[[Page 19660]]

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, ILAB/OCFT, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room S-5317,
Washington, DC 20210. Note that security-related screening may result
in significant delays in receiving materials by regular mail.
     E-mail: ilab-tvpra@dol.gov.
    All submissions should clearly identify the person and/or
organization filing the submission and should be signed and dated.
    In addition to these formal submission methods, the public will be
able to view this notice via DOL's Facebook page at http://
www.facebook.com/departmentoflabor and Twitter account at http://
twitter.com/usdol.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    Section 105(b)(1) of the Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act of 2005 (``TVPRA of 2005''), Public Law 109-164
(2006), directed the Secretary of Labor, acting through the Bureau of
International Labor Affairs, to ``carry out additional activities to
monitor and combat forced labor and child labor in foreign countries.''
Section 105(b)(2) of the TVPRA of 2005, 22 U.S.C. 7112(b)(2), listed
these activities as:
    (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 [the] 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.
    Pursuant to part (D) of the TVPRA of 2005 mandate, ILAB is seeking
information on current practices of firms, business associations, and
other private sector groups to reduce the likelihood of child labor and
forced labor in the production of goods. Many firms have policies,
activities and/or systems in place to monitor labor rights in their
supply chains and remediate violations. Such policies, activities and
systems vary depending on location, industry, and many other factors.
ILAB seeks to identify practices that have been effective in specific
contexts, analyze their replicability, and disseminate those that have
potential to be effective on a broader scale. For further details see
the ``Information Requested'' section of this notice.

II. Definitions of Forced Labor and Child Labor

    ``Child Labor''--``Child labor'' under international standards
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) is determined by the
laws, regulations, or competent authority of the country involved,
after consultation with the organizations of employers and workers
concerned, and taking into consideration relevant international
standards. This definition will not apply to work specifically
authorized by national laws, including work done by children in schools
for general, vocational or technical education or in other training
institutions, where such work is carried out in accordance with
international standards under conditions prescribed by the competent
authority, and does not prejudice children's attendance in school or
their capacity to benefit from the instruction received.
    ``Forced Labor''--``Forced labor'' under international standards
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 accordance with conditions prescribed by the competent
authority, including: any work or service required by compulsory
military service laws for work of a purely military character; work or
service which forms part of the normal civic obligations of the
citizens of a fully self-governing country; 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 that the said person
is not hired to or placed at the disposal of private individuals,
companies or associations; 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; and minor communal
services of a kind which, being performed by the members of the
community in the direct interest of the said community, can therefore
be considered as normal civic obligations incumbent upon the members of
the community, provided that the members of the community or their
direct representatives have the right to be consulted in regard to the
need for such services.

III. Information Requested

    ILAB is seeking general information on the practices of business
entities to

[[Page 19661]]

reduce the likelihood of child labor and forced labor in the production
of goods. ILAB welcomes any and all information, which could include,
e.g., codes of conduct, standards used to implement such codes of
conduct, auditing/monitoring systems, supply-chain management practices
designed to monitor informal workplaces, homework, and other
challenging work environments, training modules, reporting practices,
collaborative practices and strategies, grassroots projects, or other
relevant information. ILAB is also seeking information on government
practices to collaborate with private sector entities to reduce child
labor and forced labor in the production of goods. Submissions may
include documents in various formats, such as policy statements,
reports, and case studies. However, the specific format of any
submission is not important provided that the document presents and/or
evaluates practices implemented by business entities, or governments in
partnership with business entities, to reduce the likelihood of child
labor and forced labor in the production of goods.
    Information should be submitted to the addresses and within the
time period set forth above. DOL seeks information that can be used to
inform the development of tools and resources to be disseminated
publicly on the DOL Web site and/or in other publications. Internal
documents or confidential documents that cannot be shared with the
public will not be used. Submissions containing confidential or
personal information may be redacted by DOL before being made available
to the public, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. DOL
does not intend to respond directly to a submission or to return a
submission to a submitter, but DOL may communicate with the submitter
regarding any matters relating to the submission.
    DOL will compile and analyze submissions pursuant to this Notice,
and of many other practices as described above, in coordination with a
contractor, the Center for Reflection, Education, and Action (CREA).
For more information about CREA's contract with DOL, or to discuss
relevant practices directly with CREA, please contact Project Director
Ruth Rosenbaum at ruth_rosenbaum@crea-inc.org.

    Signed at Washington, DC this 12th day of April, 2010.
Sandra Polaski,
Deputy Undersecretary, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2010-8642 Filed 4-14-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-28-P