The Catholic University of America

Mary Leary, professor, law, was quoted in a Catholic News Agency story on human trafficking and forced labor in everyday products. See below.

Many Products that you buy may come from forced labor

From: EWTN News/CNA
Date: March 6, 2016
Author: Matt Hadro

... The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, passed by both parties in Congress, struck that clause, and President Barack Obama signed the act into law.

The law is a “positive step” in the fight against trafficking because it “closes a rather large loophole” and is a statement that “we as a country are against products produced by forced labor – full stop,” said Mary Leary, a human trafficking expert and law professor at The Catholic University of America.

However, she told EWTN News, “other problems remain about our ability/political will to investigate allegations of forced labor.”

Although it may be impossible to estimate the exact number of goods produced with forced or child labor that are available to U.S. consumers, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has provided some context.

Almost 21 million people worldwide are victims of forced labor, the ILO says. 19 million of them are exploited by private corporations; 2 million suffer at the hands of the state. An estimated $150 billion a year is made in profits from forced labor.

The abuse extends across industries, Leary said: agriculture, manufacturing, shipping, service industries like janitorial services, construction, and fishing. Whether the culprits are sweat shops in Bangladesh, slave fishing in Indonesia, or mines in India, the raw materials gathered or processed by forced labor end up in U.S. stores. ...

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