The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took action on Friday against three companies accused of forced labor practices.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a suspension of release order and two forced labor findings. The suspension of release order was issued against Malaysia-based YTY Group based on reports that YTY Group uses forced labor in its manufacturing operations. CBP identified seven of eleven factors indicative of forced labor during its investigation of the company, including activities such as abuse of vulnerability, withholding of identity documents, debt bondage, working conditions, abusive work and life and excessive overtime.
The two forced labor findings were made against Malaysian company Sime Darby Plantation Berhad and Vanuatu-flagged fishing vessel Da Wang, owned and operated by Taiwanese company Yong Feng Fishery Ltd. CBP found evidence of the eleven forced labor indicators at Sime Darby and on the Da Wang. Effective immediately, all palm oil from Sime Darby and seafood from Da Wang will be seized at all US ports of entry by CBP. Disposable gloves produced by YTY Group will be held at entry points.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called CBP’s actions “meaningful” and said the United States “will continue to use all of our authorities and resources to prevent goods from entering the United States.” produced by forced labour”. He also announced that he had designated the Director of DHS Procurement as the senior official in charge of the Department to prevent forced labor in all Department contracts and acquisitions. As a responsible official, the officer will be responsible for implementing the anti-trafficking rules.