Susan Maslow, Vice-Chair of the ABA Business Law Section Working Group to Draft Human Rights Protections in Supply Contracts, participated as Program Chair and one of six panelists in a CLE program at the ABA Business Law Spring Meeting in Orlando, Florida on Friday, April 13, 2018 entitled “Protecting Human Rights in Supply Chains: Moving from Policy to Action.” Speakers included practitioners in private firms, industry representatives from multibillion-dollar international businesses, and academics.
The program focused on the Working Group’s draft of a report with model contract clauses to protect the human rights of workers in international supply chains. The hope is that adopting the suggested text in supply contracts, purchase orders, and delivery documents will be more effective at preventing the kind of abuses that have recurred with horrifying frequency over the last few years, resulting in hundreds of deaths and countless injuries. The CLE program and materials include research and summary of recent and pending litigation in the context of violations of employee human rights, forced labor and child labor, domestically and abroad. The program drew on the knowledge and skill of those who have worked in the area, with perspectives from private practice, in-house lawyers, and law professors. The Working Group has been gathering feedback on the current draft of the report and model clauses and took the opportunity to gather more input from other business practitioners at the CLE program. The Working Group held a session following Friday’s program to discuss and digest the comments, to finalize the report and clauses, and to form a plan of national implementation.