Government Contractor Alert: Executive Order Introduces Stricter Anti-Human Trafficking Requirements for Government Contractors and Subcontractors
On September 25, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order entitled “Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts,” which will have far-reaching consequences for federal contractors and subcontractors both in the U.S. and abroad. This Executive Order and the forthcoming revisions to federal contracting regulations place significantly more responsibility on contractors and subcontractors to act affirmatively to prevent trafficking and forced labor. Contractors or subcontractors must ensure that they and their lower-tier subcontractors and recruiting agents do not engage in a wide range of trafficking-related activities, such as providing misleading information about work conditions, requiring employees to pay recruitment fees, confiscating employees’ identity papers, or failing to pay return transportation costs for employees brought to a locale to work on a government contract. These requirements will apply to a broad range of government contractors, including, for example, a subcontractor that supplies food services for the military mission in Afghanistan, a security contractor that provides security personnel for embassies in Asia, or a contractor that performs construction work on a military base. Additionally, for the first time, contractors and subcontractors with larger, overseas contracts must develop and maintain detailed anti-trafficking compliance programs and provide annual certifications of their anti-trafficking efforts.