[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 188 (Thursday, September 27, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59418-59420]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23395]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR


Notice of Initial Determination Revising the List of Products 
Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced/Indentured 
Child Labor Pursuant to Executive Order 13126

AGENCY: Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), Department of 
Labor.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This initial determination proposes to revise the list 
required by Executive Order No. 13126 (``Prohibition of Acquisition of 
Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labor'') in accordance 
with the Department of Labor's ``Procedural Guidelines for the 
Maintenance of the List of Products Requiring Federal Contractor 
Certification as to Forced or Indentured Child Labor.'' Under the 
procurement regulations implementing this Executive Order, federal 
contractors who supply products on the list published by the Department 
of Labor must certify that they have made a good faith effort to 
determine whether forced or indentured child labor was used to produce 
the products listed. This notice proposes to add 6 new line items to 
the list (dried fish from Bangladesh, gold from the Democratic Republic 
of Congo, Wolframite from the Democratic Republic of Congo, cattle from 
South Sudan, garments from Vietnam and fish from Ghana) that the 
Department of Labor preliminarily believes might have been mined, 
produced or manufactured by forced or indentured child labor. The 
Department of Labor invites public comment on this initial 
determination. The Department will consider all public comments prior 
to publishing a final determination revising the list of products, made 
in consultation and cooperation with the Department of State and the 
Department of Homeland Security.

DATES: Information should be submitted to the Office of Child Labor, 
Forced Labor and Human Trafficking (OCFT) via one of the methods 
described below by 5 p.m., November 27, 2012.
    To Submit Information, or For Further Information Contact: 
Information submitted to the Department should be submitted directly to 
OCFT, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor 
at (202) 693-4843 (this is not a toll free number). Comments, 
identified as ``Docket No. DOL-2012-0005,'' may be submitted by any of 
the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. The portal 
includes instructions for submitting comments. Parties submitting 
responses electronically are encouraged not to submit paper copies.
    Facsimile (fax): OCFT at 202-693-4830.
    Mail, Express Delivery, Hand Delivery, and Messenger Service (2 
copies): Rachel Rigby/Charita Castro at U.S. Department of Labor, OCFT, 
Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Room S-5317, Washington, DC 20210.
    Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Information Sought

    The Department is requesting public comment on the revisions to the 
List proposed below, as well as any other issue related to the fair and 
effective implementation of Executive Order (EO) 13126. This notice is 
a general solicitation of comments from the public. All submitted 
comments will be made a part of the public record and will be available 
for inspection on http://www.regulations.gov.
    In conducting research for this initial determination, the 
Department considered a wide variety of materials based on its own 
research or originating from other U.S. Government agencies, foreign 
governments, international organizations, non-governmental 
organizations (NGOs), U.S. Government-funded technical assistance and 
field research projects, academic and other independent research, media 
and other sources. The Department of State and U.S. embassies and 
consulates abroad also provide important information by gathering data 
from contacts, conducting site visits and reviewing local media 
sources. For this initial determination, the Department also sought 
additional information from the public through a call for information 
published in the Federal Register on February 16, 2012.
    In developing the revised List, the Department's review focused on 
information concerning the use of forced or indentured child labor that 
was available from the above sources. A lack of information does not, 
by itself, establish that forced or indentured child labor is not being 
used in a particular country or for a particular product. The 
Department's ability to gather relevant information is constrained by 
available resources and information about working conditions in some 
countries is difficult or impossible to obtain, for a variety of 
reasons. For example, some governments are unable or unwilling to 
cooperate with international efforts or with the efforts of NGOs to 
uncover and address labor exploitation such as forced or indentured 
child labor. Institutions or organizations that might

[[Page 59419]]

uncover such information, such as independent news media, trade unions 
and NGOs may not exist or may not be able to operate freely.
    As outlined in the Procedural Guidelines, several factors were 
weighed in determining whether or not a product should be placed on the 
revised list: The nature of the information describing the use of 
forced or indentured child labor; the source of the information; the 
date of the information; the extent of corroboration of the information 
by other sources; whether the information involved more than an 
isolated incident; and whether recent and credible efforts are being 
made to address forced or indentured child labor in a particular 
country or industry.
    This notice constitutes the initial determination to revise the EO 
13126 list issued April 3, 2012.
    Based on recent, credible and appropriately corroborated 
information from various sources, the Departments of Labor, State, and 
Homeland Security have preliminarily concluded that there is a 
reasonable basis to believe that the following products, identified by 
their countries of origin, might have been mined, produced, or 
manufactured by forced or indentured child labor:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Product                              Country
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Cattle.................................  South Sudan.
Dried Fish.............................  Bangladesh.
Fish...................................  Ghana.
Garments...............................  Vietnam.
Gold...................................  Democratic Republic of Congo.
Wolframite.............................  Democratic Republic of Congo.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department invites public comment on whether these products 
(and/or other products, regardless of whether they are mentioned in 
this Notice) should be included or removed from the revised List of 
products requiring federal contractor certification as to the use of 
forced or indentured child labor. To the extent possible, comments 
provided should address the criteria for inclusion of a product on the 
List contained in the Procedural Guidelines discussed above. The 
Department is also interested in public comments relating to whether 
products initially determined to be on the List are designated with 
appropriate specificity and whether alternative designations would 
better serve the purposes of EO 13126.
    The documents and sources providing the preliminary basis for 
adding these goods and countries to the List are available on the 
Internet at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm.
    Following receipt and consideration of comments on the additions to 
the List set out above, the Department of Labor, in consultation and 
cooperation with the Departments of State and Homeland Security, will 
issue a final determination in the Federal Register. The Department of 
Labor intends to continue to revise the List periodically to add and/or 
delete products as warranted by the receipt of new and credible 
information.

II. Background

    On June 12, 1999 President Clinton signed EO 13126, which was 
published in the Federal Register on June 16, 1999 (64 FR 32383). EO 
13126 declared that it was ``the policy of the United States Government 
that the executive agencies shall take appropriate actions to enforce 
the laws prohibiting the manufacture or importation of goods, wares, 
articles, and merchandise mined, produced or manufactured wholly or in 
part by forced or indentured child labor.'' Pursuant to EO 13126, and 
following public notice and comment, the Department of Labor published 
in the January 18, 2001 Federal Register a list of products (the 
``List''), along with their respective countries of origin, that the 
Department, in consultation and cooperation with the Departments of 
State and Treasury (whose relevant responsibilities are now within the 
Department of Homeland Security), had a reasonable basis to believe 
might have been mined, produced or manufactured with forced or 
indentured child labor (66 FR 5353). The Department also published the 
``Procedural Guidelines for Maintenance of the List of Products 
Requiring Federal Contractor Certification as to Forced or Indentured 
Child Labor'' (Procedural Guidelines) on January 18, 2001, which 
provide procedures for the maintenance, review and, as appropriate, 
revision of the List (66 FR 5351).
    The Procedural Guidelines provide that the List may be revised 
through consideration of submissions by individuals and on the 
Department's own initiative. When proposing a revision to the List, the 
Department of Labor must publish in the Federal Register a notice of 
initial determination, which includes any proposed alteration to the 
List. The Department will consider all public comments prior to the 
publication of a final determination of a revised list, which is made 
in consultation and cooperation with the Departments of State and 
Homeland Security.
    On January 18, 2001, pursuant to Section 3 of the EO 13126, the 
Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council published a final rule to 
implement specific provisions of EO 13126 that requires, among other 
things, that federal contractors who supply products that appear on the 
List certify to the contracting officer that the contractor, or, in the 
case of an incorporated contractor, a responsible official of the 
contractor, has made a good faith effort to determine whether forced or 
indentured child labor was used to mine, produce or manufacture any 
product furnished under the contract and that, on the basis of those 
efforts, the contractor is unaware of any such use of forced or 
indentured child labor. See 48 CFR Subpart 22.15.
    On September 11, 2009, the Department of Labor published an initial 
determination in the Federal Register proposing to revise the List to 
include 29 products from 21 countries. The Notice requested public 
comments for a period of 90 days. Public comments were received and 
reviewed by all relevant agencies and a final determination was issued 
on July 20, 2010.
    On December 16, 2010, The Department of Labor published an initial 
determination in the Federal Register proposing to revise the List to 
add one product to the List and remove one product from the List. The 
Notice requested public comments for a period of 60 days. Public 
comments were received and reviewed by all relevant agencies, and a 
final determination was issued on May 31, 2011 that included all 
revisions proposed in the initial determination.
    On October 4, 2011 DOL published an initial determination in the 
Federal Register proposing to add three products from two countries to 
the List. The Notice requested public comments for a period of 60 days. 
Public comments were received and reviewed by all relevant agencies, 
and a final determination was issued on April 3, 2012 that included all 
revisions proposed in the initial determination. With this final 
determination, the List is comprised of 31 products from 23 countries.
    The current List and the Procedural Guidelines can be accessed on 
the Internet at http://www.dol.gov/ILAB/regs/eo13126/main.htm or can be 
obtained from: OCFT, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Room S-
5317, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-4843; fax (202) 693-4830.

[[Page 59420]]

III. Definitions

    Under Section 6(c) of EO 13126:
    ``Forced or indentured child labor'' means all work or service--
    (1) Exacted from any person under the age of 18 under the menace of 
any penalty for its nonperformance and for which the worker does not 
offer himself voluntarily; or
    (2) Performed by any person under the age of 18 pursuant to a 
contract the enforcement of which can be accomplished by process or 
penalties.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 17th day of September, 2012.
Carol Pier,
Acting Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2012-23395 Filed 9-26-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-28-P