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Oct 4 -- The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), United States Department of Labor requests information and/or comment on three reports regarding child labor and forced labor in foreign countries. Relevant information submitted by the public will be used by the Department of Labor (DOL) in preparing its ongoing reporting as required under Congressional mandates and a Presidential directive.

The 2021 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report (TDA report), published on September 28, 2022, assesses efforts of 131 countries to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in 2021 and assesses whether countries made significant, moderate, minimal, or no advancement during that year. It also suggests actions foreign countries can take to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement, coordination, policies, and social programs.

The 2022 edition of the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor (TVPRA List), published on September 28, 2022, makes available to the public a list of goods from countries that ILAB has reason to believe are produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards, including, to the extent practicable, goods that are produced with inputs that are produced with forced labor or child labor.

Finally, the List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor (E.O. List), provides a list of products, identified by country of origin, that DOL, in consultation and cooperation with the Departments of State (DOS) and Homeland Security (DHS), has a reasonable basis to believe might have been mined, produced, or manufactured with forced or indentured child labor. Relevant information submitted by the public will be used by DOL in preparing the next edition of the TDA report, to be published in 2023; the next edition of the TVPRA List, to be published in 2024; and for possible updates to the E.O. List as needed.

This notice is also a request for information and/or comment on Comply Chain: Business Tools for Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains (Comply Chain). 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. This information and/or comment is sought to fulfill ILAB's mandate under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (TVPRA) to work with persons who are involved in the production of goods made with forced labor or child labor. Comply Chain seeks to address this mandate through the creation of a standard set of practices that will reduce the likelihood that such persons will produce goods using forced labor or child labor. Comply Chain also achieves a much broader purpose by actively supporting the efforts of companies that seek to address these issues within their own supply chains. Relevant information and/or comment submitted to ILAB will be used to improve and update Comply Chain to better meet the mandates of the TVPRA and help companies and industry groups seeking to develop robust social compliance systems for their global production.

Submitters of information are requested to provide their submission to DOL's Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT) by 5 p.m. December 16, 2022.

Interested parties are invited to comment and provide information regarding these reports. DOL requests comments on or information relevant to updating the findings and suggested government actions for countries reviewed in the TDA report, assessing each country's individual advancement toward eliminating the worst forms of child labor during the current reporting period compared to previous years, and maintaining and updating the TVPRA and E.O. Lists. Materials submitted should be confined to the specific topics of the TDA report, the TVPRA List, and the E.O. List. DOL will generally consider sources with dates up to five years old (i.e., data not older than January 1, 2017). DOL appreciates the extent to which submissions clearly indicate the time period to which they apply. In the interest of transparency in our reporting, classified information will not be accepted. Where applicable, information submitted should indicate its source or sources, and copies of the source material should be provided. If primary sources are utilized, such as research studies, interviews, direct observations, or other sources of quantitative or qualitative data, details on the research or data-gathering methodology should be provided. Please see the TDA report, TVPRA List, and the E.O. List for a complete explanation of relevant terms, definitions, and reporting guidelines employed by DOL. Per our standard procedures, submissions will be published on the ILAB web page.   

In addition to general comments on the existing publication of Comply Chain, 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. ILAB welcomes all input. Examples of materials could include, but are not limited to: (1) Codes of conduct; (2) Sets of standards used for implementation of codes in specific industries or locations or among particular labor populations; (3) Auditing/monitoring systems, or components of such systems, as well as related systems for enforcement of labor standards across a supply chain; (4) Strategies for monitoring sub-tier suppliers, informal workplaces, homework, and other challenging environments; (5) Training modules and other mechanisms for communicating expectations to stakeholders which incorporate worker input; (6) Traceability models or experiences; (7) Remediation strategies for children and/or adults found in conditions of forced or child labor; (8) Reporting-related practices and practices related to independent review; (9) Projects at the grassroots level which address underlying issues or root causes of child labor or forced labor; (10) and/or any other relevant practices.

In addition, ILAB is seeking information on current practices of governments to collaborate with private sector actors through public-private partnerships to reduce the likelihood of child labor and forced labor in the production of goods. Submissions may include policy documents, reports, statistics, case studies, and many other formats. In addition, ILAB welcomes submissions of reports, analyses, guidance, toolkits, and other documents in which such practices have been compiled or analyzed by third-party groups. 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 website and/or in other publications. However, in disseminating information, DOL will maintain confidential, to the extent permitted by law, the identity of the submitter and/or the individual or company using the practice in question, upon request. Internal, 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 commit to responding directly to submissions or returning submissions to the submitters, but DOL may communicate with the submitter regarding any matters relating to the submission.
 
2021 TDA report https://www.dol.gov/​agencies/​ilab/​resources/​reports/​child-labor/​findings
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-21464

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