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Modern slavery is coercing, threatening, or deceiving victims to exploit them and impair their freedom. One of the practices that establish modern slavery is human trafficking.

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What is Modern Slavery?

An important distinction is that modern slavery does not include inadequate working conditions or wages. These are also critical occurrences that may be present in some cases. However, modern slavery mainly describes serious profiteering. 

Regulations in various countries require companies to be socially responsible by ensuring they never contribute to human trafficking.

Human trafficking Enviropass

Slavery & Human Trafficking Ban Regulations – Affected Markets

Human trafficking regulation STRT form

Chiefly, companies are responsible for respecting and protecting human rights within their operations and supply chains. The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights state such responsibilities and the necessary steps to evaluate and approach modern slavery risks.       

If you do business in the following markets, there is a good chance you must address human trafficking ban regulations. Significantly, certain conditions apply, such as company size and activities.

Australia Modern Slavery Act

Australia flag

Firstly, Australia issued the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) in January 2019. This act establishes the Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement, applying to those interacting with the Australian market. It supports businesses in identifying and approaching their modern slavery risks. With this, companies maintain a responsible and transparent supply chain.

The Canadian Modern Slavery Act

Canada Enviropass

On May 11, 2023, Canada passed the Modern Slavery Act, which legislates fighting against forced labor and child labor in the supply chain. Accordingly, the subject governmental institutions and private-sector entities selling, manufacturing, distributing, or importing products into Canada must file their annual modern slavery report every year by May 31. With this act, Canada upholds its international commitment to fight against human trafficking, specifically forced labor and child labor.

California Transparency in Supply Chains Act

California Flag

In California, the leading legislation is the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act Section 1714.43. Issued in January 2012, this act requires retail sellers and manufacturers to document their efforts toward eliminating slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains.

Furthermore, the California law SB 657 is another regulation that targets tragedies of human trafficking and modern slavery in the present-day workplace.

The European Union Human Trafficking Directive

European Union Product Environmental Compliance

Next, the EU implemented the Human Trafficking Directive 2011/36/EU in April 2011. The directive aims to prevent and combat human trafficking and protect its victims. Member states should have this directive transposed into their laws as of April 2013.

Dutch Child Labour Due Diligence Act

netherlands flag

In May 2019, the Netherlands adopted the Dutch Child Labour Due Diligence Act. However, the enactment comes into effect in 2022. In short, companies based in or selling to the Dutch market must investigate their supply chain to determine whether there is reasonable suspicion of child labour.

French Law No. 2017-399 Against Human Trafficking

France’s Environmental Decree for Waste Generating Products

In France, as of March 2017, the Devoir de vigilance des sociétés mères et des entreprises donneuses d’ordre (Duty of Care of Parent Companies and Ordering CompaniesLaw No.  2017-399 is the governing legislation against human trafficking. This law requires companies to publish a due vigilance plan, including due diligence measures to identify risks and prevent severe infringements of human rights and freedoms. The regulation applies to the company and all its supply chains.

German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act

German Flag Human Trafficking

To summarize, this SCDDA regulation covers environmental and social due diligence obligations to assess the supply chain. It can impact German companies with over 1,000 employees.

UK Modern Slavery Act

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Section 15 of the United Kingdom (UK) Modern Slavery Act 2015 establishes requirements for commercial businesses. Such organizations must publish slavery and human trafficking statements each year.

US Federal Acquisition Regulation Final Rule on Combating Trafficking in Persons

United States Flag

The United States has two significant laws against human trafficking within company procedures. Namely, they are the Federal Acquisition Regulation Final Rule on Combating Trafficking in Persons 52.222-50 and the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act.

Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template

Similar to the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT) addressing conflict minerals laws, the Social Responsibility Alliance (SRA) has developed the Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) to help companies comply with these regulations. 

The STRT is a free standard in Excel format that enhances data collection from supply chains.

Consequences of Human Trafficking

Aside from the obvious severe consequences for the victims, human trafficking affects markets and businesses. Impacts include:

  • Distorting the global market;
  • Undermining responsible organizations; and
  • Causing significant legal and reputational issues.

Human Trafficking in Private Sectors - Electronics

Human trafficking mainly occurs in the private sector. For example:


Those who work in these fields face similar hazardous and harmful conditions, such as:

  • Dangerous work environments;
  • Verbal and physical abuse;
  • Low and withheld wages; and
  • General vulnerability due to being considered underqualified and expendable.
Human Trafficking Electronics

Notably, these industries draw migrant workers because of the seasonality and high work demand. Also, to consider are the significant efforts from labour recruiters.

Organizations For Human Rights

International Labour Organization

International Labour Organization

The International Labour Organization (ILO) ensures social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. The main objective of the ILO is to create universal and permanent peace.

Moreover, this United Nations organization is the only one that combines representation from the government, employers, and workers. Members from 187 countries work together to define labour standards, formulate policies, and implement programs that advocate for decent employment for all men and women.

Furthermore, the ILO has a Decent Work Agenda that aims to improve economic and working circumstances to offer long-term peace, prosperity, and progress to all employees, employers, and governments.

International Labour Conference

In brief, the International Labour Conference (ILC) establishes broad policy and international labour standards. An annual meeting to address prevalent social and labour issues takes place in Geneva.

The Governing Body is the ILO executive council. It also meets in Geneva three times annually. Overall, it makes policy decisions, sets the program and budget, and then recommends them for approval at the Conference.

International Labour Office

The International Labour Office is the permanent secretariat of the International Labour Organization. Specifically, it is the focal point for the ILO’s overall activities, which it plans under the leadership of the Director-General and the supervision of the Governing Body.

International Labour Standards

International labour standards are backed by a one-of-a-kind supervisory structure that ensures governments follow through on the treaties they issue. Regularly, the ILO analyses the implementation of standards in member countries and suggests areas for improvement. If nations have problems implementing standards, the ILO helps them through social dialogue and technical assistance.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

WTO World Trade Organization

All World Trade Organization (WTO) members are committed to a narrower set of globally recognized “core” principles, including:

  • Freedom of association;
  • No forced labour;
  • No child labour; and
  • No employment discrimination (including gender discrimination).


At the 1996 Singapore Ministerial Conference, members established the WTO position in this area, designating the ILO as the authorized authority to negotiate labour standards.

Markedly, the WTO Councils and Committees are not working on this issue. However, under the banner of “coherence” in global economic policymaking, the secretariats of the two organizations work on technical matters together. They are unable to establish an agreement beyond that, and the subject of international enforcement is usually a source of tension.

Conflict Minerals and Human Trafficking

Finally, the American Dodd-Frank Act governs the declarations of four conflict minerals known as 3TG (Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten, and Gold) from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In the EU, Regulation #2017/821 imposes supply chain due-diligence responsibilities for importers of tin, tantalum, and tungsten, as well as their ores and gold originating from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

Enviropass has over 3 500 of the most common suppliers on file, who record reports according to Conflict Minerals Reporting Templates (CMRT).

Conflict Minerals

Enviropass supports you in searching for information, following up with your suppliers and subcontractors, and advising you in the mandatory official disclosure of your supply chain control.

If you need any assistance, Enviropass can help you audit your supply chains.