Menendez Introduces Anti-Trafficking, Labor Rights Bills

Menendez Introduces Anti-Trafficking, Labor Rights Bills


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, today introduced two bills aimed at promoting workers’ rights and human rights in developing countries around the world.  Menendez has been a leading voice in Congress to combat human trafficking, avoid trade with human traffickers, and promote basic rights of workers across the world.

The Labor Rights for Development Act, which is cosponsored by U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), would require developing countries to meet basic standards of labor rights protection in order to receive preferential access to the U.S. market. The bill would require countries to eliminate forced and child labor, recognize the right to collective bargaining, and provide acceptable wages, hours of work, and a safe and healthy work environment. The Anti-Trafficking Trade Act, cosponsored by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), would suspend certain trade benefits for countries who do not take steps to combat human trafficking.

“These two bills are necessary in order to encourage developing countries to increase their standards, promote human rights and protect the rights of their workers,” said Sen. Menendez. “The United States should not be granting trade benefits to countries who exploit their workers and have no regard for human rights. Doing so only serves to fuel the outsourcing that has already cost millions of American jobs. We need to flip the incentives, so that developing countries recognize that upping their standards is good for trade and the global economy.”

“Raising labor standards among our trading partners will help to stop the outsourcing of U.S. jobs, so before we give countries access to U.S. markets, we ought to make sure they treat their workers right,” said Sen. Brown.

Click here for a PDF version of the Labor Rights for Development Act. Click here for a PDF version of The Anti-Trafficking Trade Act.