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Nov 23, 2018

Consumers Beware: Counterfeit Goods Are An Indicator Of Forced Labor

The bustling holiday shopping season is just around the corner.  Many stores have launched their advertisements for all of their best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.  More and more consumers are turning to online shopping through websites like Amazon or the Walmart Marketplace.  Here, some unscrupulous individual sellers are able to slip counterfeit goods into the market.  Not only do counterfeit goods pose enormous safety risks due to the lack of regulatory compliance in sourcing and production, but they are also a strong indicator that the products were made with forced or child labor.  Due to the illegal nature of counterfeit goods, there is no oversight over labor conditions or agency to enforce workers’ rights.

U.S. Customs and Border Protect (“CBP”) works with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to raise awareness about the safety risks that counterfeit goods pose.  CBP detains counterfeit goods at the border before being imported into the United States by enforcing intellectual property violations.  However, some counterfeit goods do ultimately make it into the U.S. and enter the marketplace.  Therefore, consumers must be on the look-out for counterfeit goods that can put their family in harm’s way and is may be made with forced labor.

Contemporary examples of forced labor has been found all over the world, including in the United States.  Governments are making the fight to end forced labor a top policy priority.  Many countries are introducing Modern Slavery legislation, with reporting requirements for corporations to disclose efforts to combat forced labor.  The International Supply Chain Initiative (“ISCI”) conducts liability assessments of forced labor in the supply chain and offers training in anti-human trafficking agendas, to ensure compliance with federal and international laws.  ISCI offers a Certification upon completion of our programs, which demonstrates to consumers a corporation’s commitment to ending forced labor.  For more information on how ISCI can help your company propel its anti-human trafficking policies, please contact us here.

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