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American University Law Review





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For U.S. companies with forced labor or child labor in the supply chain, litigation is on the rise. This Article surveys the current litigation landscape involving forced labor in the supply chain. It ultimately concludes that domestic corporations that source from international suppliers should adopt the Model Contract Clauses drafted by the ABA Business Law Section Working Group to Draft Human Rights Protections in International Supply Contracts ("Working Group"). This Article traces the origins of cases involving supply chain forced labor, beginning with the early employee negligence cases that form the backdrop of existing case law and the cornerstone of the Model Contract disclaimers. Part III turns to the evolving consumer class actions based on deceptive trade practices. Part IV addresses the complexities of employee-based cases alleging violations of the ATS, and by comparison, this part also illustrates why the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) extraterritorial jurisdictional grant may provide fertile ground for domestic litigation involving foreign forced labor in the supply chain. Finally, Part V discusses the origin of the disclaimer clauses in the MCCs proposed by the Working Group, and the arguments in favor of using the MCCs as a foundation for reducing abusive labor practices in the supply chain, even for those brought under the TVPRA. The Article concludes that the threat of domestic liability is on a steady upward trajectory, and businesses are well-advised to begin incorporating contractual rights and remedies to deal with the problem of forced labor in the supply chain, but in a way that does not increase the potential for domestic liability.

Recommended Citation

Ramona L. Lampley, Mitigating Risk, Eradicating Slavery, 68 Am. U. L. Rev. 1707 (2019).