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Statement from NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on the White House Forum on Combating Human Trafficking in Supply Chains

Today, as we commemorate National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the White House hosted a forum dedicated to combating human trafficking in supply chains. The event brought together leaders from the private sector, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and the federal government to discuss the prevention and elimination of trafficking-related activities in federal contracts and in private sector supply chains.

Today’s forum was part of President Obama’s sustained commitment to combat human trafficking. This year, the Administration will be focusing in particular on human trafficking issues in supply chains. The President spoke to this issue earlier this week at the U.S.-India Business Council Summit, where he stressed the need to “keep striving to protect the rights of our workers; to make sure that our supply chains are sourced responsibly.”

As part of this effort, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) published updates today to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as required by the President’s Executive Order “Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts.” These updates establish a number of new safeguards largely modeled on successful private sector practices, and reflect public input from federal contractors, academia, NGOs, and other stakeholders. The new FAR rule prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from charging employees recruitment fees or using misleading or fraudulent recruitment practices, and requires contractors and subcontractors performing work over $500,000 outside the United States to develop and maintain a trafficking compliance plan and to certify that to the best of their knowledge neither they nor any of their subcontractors has engaged in trafficking-related activities, among other things. The Administration will continue to work together with the private sector, civil society, and government partners to fight to end human trafficking in all its forms, wherever it occurs.

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