Strengthening the Prohibition of Forced or Indentured Child Labor in Government Contracts: A Critical Analysis of FAR Subpart 22.15

Mbah, Miriam and Eyo, Ama (2023). Strengthening the Prohibition of Forced or Indentured Child Labor in Government Contracts: A Critical Analysis of FAR Subpart 22.15. Public Contract Law Journal, 52(3) pp. 343–368.

URL: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_contract...

Abstract

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2021 as the year to eliminate child labor from the global community. As the highest single global purchaser with a long historical prohibition of child labor practices, the United States federal government has attempted to eliminate child labor from its global supply chain, mainly through its public contract rules. Of relevance to this paper is subpart 22.15 of the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation, which prohibits the acquisition of products produced by forced or indentured child labor. Underlining the paper is the question: how adequate is subpart 22.15 in prohibiting child labor in the US federal supply chains, and how can subpart 22.15 be strengthened to remedy any issues that challenge its adequacy?
This paper addresses these questions through a critical analysis of subpart 22.15, by focusing on the subpart’s scope and coverage, and its provisions relating to procurement planning, tendering or solicitation, contract awards and contract management to understand the adequacy of subpart 22.15 in eliminating child labor from the U.S. federal supply chain. Throughout the analysis, the paper highlights advantageous provisions in subpart 22.15 that prohibit child labor. However, our analysis of subpart 22.15 also demonstrates the Regulation contains inadequate provisions, which arise largely from provisions that lack legal certainty; provisions that fail to provide comprehensive scope and coverage on the elimination of child labor from the US federal supply chain, and provisions that present significant limitations or loopholes, which hinder the effectiveness of the Regulation. To address the inadequacies in subpart 22.15, the paper offers some recommendations, which will contribute to eliminating child labor from the U.S. federal supply chain, and inspire other countries to adopt similar provisions in their procurement regimes.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 83600
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 0033-3441
  • Extra Information
  • This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.
  • Keywords
  • Government Contracts; Public Procurement; Child Labor; Sustainable Procurement; Modern Slavery; Executive Order 13126; President Clinton; President Biden; Human Rights; United Nations; Subpart 22.15; Federal Acquisition Regulation
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Law
    Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2023 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved.
  • Depositing User
  • Miriam Amanze

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