Construction Sector ToolsetPrevent and Address Forced Labor in Your Company’s Supply Chains
Introduction & Framing
Construction is one of the most physically hazardous industries for workers as well as one of the primary sectors in which workers are highly vulnerable to forced labor. Migrant workers make up a significant proportion of the workforce on most construction sites and are particularly vulnerable to labor exploitation and forced labor. Migrant workers often work informally and they suffer from the risks that many low-skilled migrant workers face, including low wages and the lack of social and/or legal protections.
Tool 1: Supply Chain Due Diligence Process[View Tool 1]
This tool provides an overview of the processes a company could implement to identify where risks of human trafficking, including forced labor, are present within its supply chains; to address identified issues; to implement enduring solutions; and to monitor supplier performance over time.
Tool 2: Code of Conduct[View Tool 2]
A supply chain Code of Conduct establishes basic performance expectations for suppliers, agents, and subcontractors. It is important that your company sourcing policy or Code of Conduct explicitly prohibits forced labor and related human rights abuses and sets out clear protections for workers. The sample provisions in this tool can be used by construction companies and for the management of their materials suppliers, on-site sub-contractors, services providers, and labor agents.
Tool 3: Performance Benchmarks[View Tool 3]
Benchmarks of good practice are the detailed performance standards of a Code of Conduct. They further clarify requirements for business partners and can be used to measure the labor and human rights performance of suppliers. The set of sample benchmarks is consistent with the sample Code of Conduct provisions listed in Tool 2 and can serve as a basis for establishing and monitoring key performance indicators.
Tool 4: Country-Level Review of Legal Protections Against Human Trafficking[View Tool 4]
Understanding the laws that govern the prevention and remediation of human trafficking, including forced labor, in a particular country can help construction companies assess where in their supply chains there may be heightened risk of forced labor as well as provide insight into the operating environment that may contribute to such risks. In addition, it is helpful to understand whether the country has committed to any other frameworks, such as treaties, bilateral agreements, or conventions, that addresses factors that contribute to the risk of forced labor.
Tool 5: Supplier Agreement[View Tool 5]
The purpose of a Supplier Agreement is to formally record the commitment of a supplier, contractor, subcontractor, or agent to conform to a customer’s code of conduct, contract terms and conditions, and applicable legal requirements. It can be a standalone document or included as an appendix to the contract. Contract terms and conditions covering the obligations of both the buyer and supplier are the legally enforceable requirements for suppliers to prevent human trafficking, including forced labor.
Tool 6: Supply Chain Mapping and Risk Screening[View Tool 6]
Supply chain mapping allows a construction company to trace the chain of custody — and points of accountability for preventing human trafficking, including forced labor — to the lowest levels of materials and services supply chains. With a complete understanding of its materials and labor supply chains, construction companies can identify, prioritize, prevent, and mitigate forced labor risks to construction workers they employ or that are employed by their subcontractors and suppliers. Mapping can also identify and help prevent risks to workers at the lower tiers of materials supply chains; for example, in mines, quarries, brick making and forestry operations.
Tool 7: Criteria for Screening[View Tool 7]
The risks of human trafficking, including forced labor, can be mitigated by properly designed and implemented processes for recruitment, selection, and hiring of workers. Those risks are greater and more difficult to control when recruitment, selection, and hiring are outsourced to third-party recruitment and labor agents. Therefore, construction companies and their subcontractors and suppliers should, whenever possible, recruit, hire, and employ workers directly. When direct recruitment is not possible, companies must exercise careful due diligence in the screening and selection of recruitment agents to minimize the risk of forced labor because of fraudulent or misleading recruitment practices.
Tool 8: Supplier Self-Assessment[View Tool 8]
An important part of a due diligence systems approach to preventing forced labor and other supply chain human rights issues is to assess current and prospective subcontractors and suppliers for potential risks. This sample self-assessment tool can help identify potential forced labor risks in how a subcontractor or supplier recruits, selects, and hires workers, the supplier’s relationship with labor brokers, and how workers are managed.
Tool 9: Monitoring Labor Agent Performance[View Tool 9]
The risks of human trafficking, including forced labor, in construction industry supply chains can be controlled by properly designed and implemented processes for the recruitment, selection, and hiring of workers. Those risks are greater and more difficult to control when recruitment, selection, and hiring are outsourced to third-party labor agents. The risk increases when these responsibilities are passed to informal labor agents who gather workers through social and familial networks. Therefore, whenever possible, construction companies should recruit, hire, and employ workers directly.
Tool 10: Conducting Worker Interviews[View Tool 10]
Foreign migrants are a particularly vulnerable class of workers due to their non-resident, and often contingent status. They are frequently insecure socially and economically; likely do not speak local languages; may lack the social and legal protections local workers hold; and may be victims of human trafficking due to unethical recruitment and employment practices like indebtedness or lack of access to their identity documents. Because foreign migrant workers may be present throughout construction supply chains, companies should carefully plan worker interviews for the many different materials suppliers and services subcontractors used in a construction project.
Tool 11: Worker Engagement[View Tool 11]
The ability for workers to gain awareness of and advocate for their rights, to discuss workplace issues of concern and interest, to have channels for individual and collective advocacy and to communicate grievances is essential to the prevention of trafficking in persons. It can also serve to provide companies with effective means for information exchange on workplace conditions and potential risk areas. In fact, workers themselves are often the best source of information regarding labor conditions.
Tool 12: FAR Compliance Plan Template[View Tool 12]
This tool is specifically intended for use by companies that need to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR): Combating Trafficking in Persons and submit certification 52.222-56 set forward by 52.222-50(h) and 22.1703(c).