The Senate recently voted to approve a currency bill that would penalize countries that manipulate their currencies - and in it is a provision that would remove a loophole for forced labor that is in place for certain goods coming into the U.S. - the cocoa commodity being one of them.
And while the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 encompasses a great deal more, Human Rights First, as well as well as the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking, is lauding the smaller provisions.
From Human Rights First:
Human Rights First today welcomed the Senate’s passage of section 912 of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 ( S. 1269), a provision to strengthen prohibitions on the importation of goods produced by forced labor slavery.The statement from ATEST and endslaveryandtrafficking.org:
The Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (ATEST) strongly supports section 912 of S. 1269, the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. This provision strengthens existing authority to prohibit the importation of goods made with forced, prison, or other exploitative labor. The Act removes a pernicious exception to this existing authority that allows for the importation of such goods if there is a “consumptive demand” for them.
Child labor, human trafficking, and slave labor has been a hidden, ongoing problem with the cocoa industry, notably on the Ivory Coast of Africa. It remains to be seen whether this small provision will have a major impact - and a positive change - on bringing an end to child labor in the confectionery supply chains.