International Corporate Accountability Roundtable

 Afternoon Interactive Workshops – Day I

Evidence Gathering and Witness Protection: Best Practices to Support Enforcement and Policy Change

Time:    2:30 PM to 3:45 PM

Room:   NT07


  • Duncan Jepson, Liberty Shared (facilitator)

  • Ken Kennedy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement

  • Kevin Willcutts, Department of Labor International Labor Affairs Bureau

  • Martha Mendoza, investigative reporter, Associated Press

Background Information

This workshop focuses on practical applications of Corporate Crimes Principles and seeks to advance collaboration by raising awareness of tools and types of information that are useful. It features experts from two key US Government agencies, a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter, and an NGO leader who will discuss evidence gathering for human and labor rights violations worldwide, how they use information while protecting sources to drive policy change, and how it can be used to enhance civil and criminal enforcement. 

Liberty Shared

Liberty Shared facilitates the sharing of information and expertise with anti-trafficking stakeholders through online platforms, gathers and channels intelligence on slavery to the private sector, and champions the understanding of victim identification, protection, and procedures.

Martha Mendoza, Associated Press

Martha Mendoza’s reports have prompted Congressional hearings and new legislation, Pentagon investigations, and White House responses. She was part of a team whose investigations into slavery in the Thai seafood sector have led to the freedom of more than 2,000 men. She’s an advocate for accurate journalism, government transparency, and the public’s right to know.

International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB)

ILAB publishes three reports on international child labor and forced labor that serve as valuable resources for research, advocacy, government action and corporate responsibility. These reports are the Department of Labor's Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor; the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor; and the List of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor. Each of these reports has a distinct mandate, focus, and set of implications, but taken collectively, they document the current situation of child labor, forced labor and forced child labor around the world. Since 2009, ILAB has issued an updated List of Goods on a yearly basis. For example, in 2014, it listed 136 goods from 74 countries. Exhaustive research is conducted in order to provide a comprehensive list based on publicly available sources.

Forced Labor: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  

Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1307) prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, produced or manufactured, wholly or in part, in any foreign country by forced or indentured child labor – including forced child labor. Such merchandise is subject to exclusion and/or seizure and may lead to criminal investigation of the importer(s). ICE and CBP have independent, but related, authorities to enforce civil regulations and criminal statutes relating to 1307, as well as those in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act specific to North Korean laborers worldwide. Both ICE and CBP encourage individuals with information about forced labor being used in the production of goods for the US market to contact them with that information.

When information reasonably but not conclusively indicates that merchandise within the purview of this provision is being imported, the Commissioner of CBP may issue withhold release orders. If the Commissioner is provided with information sufficient to make a determination that the goods in question are subject to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. § 1307, the Commissioner will publish a formal finding in the Customs Bulletin and in the Federal Register.

ICE may pursue criminal charges such as 18 U.S.C. 545, 18 U.S.C. 1589, or 18 U.S.C. 1761 against corporations and corporate officials involved in the importation of goods into the United States in violation of these laws.