ICAR and co-signers submit letter to Congress urging continued support for forced child labor investigations

Washington, D.C. (December 1, 2016) – The International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), AFL-CIO, Oxfam America, Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and ECPAT-USA sent a letter to Congress today, calling for sustained funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) forced child labor investigations in the FY17 final appropriations bill.

ICE has received targeted funding at $15.7 million per year to investigate forced child labor. The mandate associated with this funding covers enforcement against a broad range of illicit activities, including labor and sex trafficking of children, forced child labor, use of child solider, and sexual exploitation of children. The funding also supports ICE’s Forced Child Labor Program, which implements section 307 of the Tariff Act that prohibits the import of any goods produced with forced labor. Without targeted funding, ICE may have trouble meeting its obligation to enforce legal protections against these activities.

As such, the co-signers urge Congress to sustain ICE's targeted funding for forced child labor investigations at the long-standing level of $15.7 million per year. We also ask Congress to request a yearly expense report from ICE to explain how funds have been spent to fulfill the mandate and what additional support ICE may need to fully carry out its duties.

The letter can be viewed here

For additional information please contact Sophia Lin, ICAR’s Legal and Policy Associate, at sophia@icar.ngo.