SB 657 Transparency in Supply Chains on Slavery and Human Trafficking

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into legislation a bill that requires retailers and manufacturers who do business in California to show they have taken steps to eliminate slavery from their supply chains. This new law, SB 657 came into effect on January 1, 2012.

SB 657 focuses on the elimination of slavery and abuse of workers employed or contracted by companies which do business in California.  These companies also have an obligation to monitor the compliance of suppliers who are located outside of the United States.

This bill requires that retailers must make a public declaration covering the following elements:

1.      Show that the retailer verifies its product supply chain to assess and address risks of human trafficking and slave labor.
2.      Provide a description of the audits conducted to ensure its suppliers adhere to core standards.
3.      Certification from direct suppliers that materials used to make products are not from countries that engage in slavery and human trafficking.
4.      Maintaining internal accountability standards for employees or contractors to assure they meet the company’s requirements.
5.      Ensure that employees who are responsible for sourcing and supplier management receive training on human trafficking and slavery, with a focus on the risks within supply chains.

Global Standards can assist your company with all aspects of compliance to SB 657 in Asia.  Our local auditors in China, Vietnam, and Thailand are trained to monitor these elements through a physical audit of suppliers.  This audit takes approximately one day for most factories.  However, we suggest that suppliers with no prior background or a lack of developed human resources systems undergo a one day training program that provides details on the types of documentation and training necessary to comply with SB 657.

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