Human Trafficking and Forced Labor

Human Trafficking and Forced Labor

The ILO estimates that more than 20 million people globally are forced to work against their will. This issue has received heightened attention over the past several years due to the innovative and diligent work of NGOs, governments, multilateral organizations, media and companies. 

Our COVC and Vendor Compliance Agreements explicitly prohibit the use of forced labor in any stage of our products’ production, and we actively work to combat this violation of fundamental human rights. 

While assessing facilities, our field teams interview both workers and managers and review records to help ensure that workers:

  • Have voluntarily agreed to all employment terms
  • Are free to end their employment if and when they choose
  • Can freely enter and exit their work spaces and living quarters

We believe legislation is an important lever in the global fight against human trafficking; we welcomed the 2012 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which requires companies of a certain size to publicly communicate their efforts to identify and eliminate forced labor in their supply chains. We combine this disclosure with our response to the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015, which also requires eligible businesses over a certain size to disclose annually the actions they have taken to ensure there is no modern slavery in their business or supply chains. (Our response to that statement can be found here.)

We also collaborate with stakeholder networks in key sourcing countries to monitor and address forced labor risks. We were pleased that in 2016, KnowTheChain ranked Gap Inc. second in its benchmark of 20 apparel and footwear companies based on our efforts to eradicate forced labor from our global supply chain. While we recognize that there is still much more to do, we are proud to help lead the industry in ensuring all workers’ rights and freedoms are respected.