The Legal Consequences of Supply Chain Decisions: Slavery, Trafficking, and the Changing Legal and Regulatory Obligations Affecting Corporations Operating Internationally

April 12, 2021

Howard A. Fischer

This panel will explore the developing standards governing corporate compliance with international laws and rules governing slavery and human trafficking.

Corporations operating internationally face an ever more complex set of laws and regulations regarding supply chain resiliency, compliance, and mechanisms that ensure that products and services are not supporting modern slavery.  Pressure is coming not just from governments and regulators but from consumers as well. The global legal environment is experiencing rapid evolution. Among other jurisdictions, the UK is in the process of updating its laws to respond to concerns about the plight of the Uyghur Muslims in China.  In Switzerland, even though a public referendum on corporate social responsibility and proposing stricter compliance laws was rejected in a close public vote, the Government now supports legislation that demands more transparent reporting from companies. California has had supply chain transparency laws in place since 2012 and there have been real concerns about the COVID-19 compliance of factories around the world.

Companies operating internationally – as well as the lawyers counselling them – need to be cognizant of this shifting landscape. As the legal environment evolves, lawyers will have to consider not just what the law is, but where it might go: Should companies be doing more than just meeting their current, minimum compliance obligations? How should lawyers be advising corporate clients of legal developments? And are governments doing enough to be sure that the laws are sufficient to protect vulnerable populations?

What is the way forward for the corporate world? And for the lawyers that counsel them?

Co-Sponsored by the Committee on Corporate Counsel of the New York State Bar Association’s International Section.

To register, please click here.

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