At issue is the complex web of supply chains around the world, which account for 450 million jobs, but have huge disparities between labor laws depending on the country. According to the United Nations' International Labour Organization, an estimated 21 million workers work in forced labor conditions in supply chains around the world.
The creation and enforcement of policies by national governments can help to stop companies from buying components from rogue firms overseas that exploit workers, which often involves women and children, Human Rights Watch says.
"Legally binding rules are the only realistic way to ensure that companies don't exploit workers or contribute to labor abuses," Juliane Kippenberg, associate children's rights director at Human Rights Watch, said.
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