Anti-Human Trafficking Requirements for Federal Contractors

AuthorJames J. McCullough. Anayansi Rodriguez. Aaron T. Tucker1, Sam W. McCahon, Joelle Laszlo, and Joanne Burrus
Chapter 8
Anti-Human Trafficking Requirements for Federal Contractors
James J. McCullough. Anayansi Rodriguez. Aaron T. Tucker1, Sam W. McCahon, Joelle Laszlo,
and Joanne Burrus
This chapter addresses the laws and regulations prohibiting human trafficking that are
applicable to US government contractors.
I. Federal Laws and Regulations Combating Human Trafficking in Supply Chains
As with many other compliance regimes impacting contractor activities, the US
government’s prohibitions on human trafficking are contained in a series of statutes and related
regulations, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and the Department of Defense
FAR Supplement (DFARS).
A. Human Trafficking Business Model
In order to understand the compliance issues and pitfalls associated with the anti-human
trafficking requirements now in the FAR, some perspective on the nature of the problem is
helpful, particularly as it relates to contracting in the battle space, developing countries, and
other areas where labor is at a significant disadvantage due to the labor conditions in the country.
Organizations and individuals who traffic human beings for labor purposes in these conditions
have a well-established business model for accomplishing their task. The process can b e broken
down into three phases: (1) deceptive hiring through fraudulent means, including
misrepresenting either the compensation, location of employment, or type of work to be
performed; (2) creating an indentured status of the worker in order to ensure compliance and
longevity on the worksite; and (3) instilling fear of reprisal actions for disclosure of the
fraudulent hiring practices. Recruiters target populations in developing nations where worker
expectations for compensation are far lower than those in developed nations. The existence of
high unemployment and low wages in the country of origin creates vulnerable populations of
workers who are desperate for work. Taken together, these variables create an economically
viable labor pool that can be taken advantage of by human traffickers.2
The typical human trafficking business model entails recruiters sending agents into
villages and cities, asking prospective applicants if they would like a job working for the US
government but failing to disclose key elements of the potential work. This misrepresentation is
done in order to induce the applicant to pay a “commission” or “fee” to the recruiter in exchange
for getting the work. The target population typically lacks cash to pay the fee so the worker seeks
a loan. In one common scenario, the worker’s passport is held by the agent and the worker enters
the country on a tourist visa. The worker is then instructed to lie to the immigration officer if
asked about the purpose of his or her visit.
These lies and misrepresentations create a powerful incentive for a worker to accept an y
offer of employment, given the fact that, if the worker returns home, he or she loses the money
paid to the agent, an amount typically secured with the family home as collateral. Typically,
offers of employment are for less money than initially promised and, potentially, in far more
dangerous locations. The company receiving the worker may or may not pay a fee or
commission to the recruiter and may not even be aware of the origin of the employee.3
B. Federal Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking
Recognizing the evolving problem of human trafficking, Congress passed the Victims of
Trafficking and Violence Prevention Act (Public Law 106-386) (TVPA) on October 28, 2000.4
The TVPA “updated the post-Civil War slavery statutes, furthering the guarantees of freedom
from slavery and involuntary servitude set forth in the US Constitution and articulated in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”5 When it was reauthorized in 2006, the TVPA was

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