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Hastings International and Comparative Law Review

Abstract

The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (CTSCA) took effect in January 2012. It was designed in an effort to eradicate forced labor and human trafficking in business supply chains, which the legislature recognized as violations of state, federal, and international law. The CTSCA does not forbid the sale of goods produced through trafficked labor. Instead, the CTSCA asks companies to disclose their labor practices to consumers in order to allow buyers to differentiate companies based on their efforts to supply products free from slavery and trafficking, which will in turn inform consumers' purchasing decisions and drive companies to pay closer attention to their own supply chains. After explaining the requirements of the CTSCA, this article applies Archon Fung and colleagues' framework for successful transparency regulation to analyze the likely efficacy of the CTSCA. The analysis finds that while the CTSCA meets three of the five essential elements for a successful disclosure regulation, the law fails to meet crucial aspects of having a defined information structure and vehicle, and also lacks an enforcement mechanism. Furthermore, the information disclosed under the CTSCA regime is unlikely to become adequately embedded in users' routine decision-making to affect the purchase of goods, a necessary aspect for success. Therefore, the CTSCA is not likely to help eradicate forced labor and human trafficking.

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