Regulating the Human Supply Chain (Gordan 2017)

Gordon, Jennifer. 2017. “Regulating the Human Supply Chain.” Iowa Law Review 102 (2): 445+.

Legal scholarship has failed to take note of the increasing impact of recruitment intermediaries on the rule of law in the United States, and on the regulation of employment in U.S. low-wage labor markets in particular.  This Article fills that gap for forming a novel conceptual framing of migrant recruitment as a “human supply chain.”  It builds on this analysis to make and evaluate a set of proposals to address the subordination of workers and the negative effects on the rule of law caused by an unregulated human supply chain in low-wage labor markets.

The proposals set out here are also fundamentally different from the recommendations that have emerged from the anti-trafficking framework, in that they do not emphasize the criminalization of bad actors. Instead, this Article argues for an effective means of changing the economic incentives of the entities and individuals in the human supply chain’s vast middle. With this end goal in mind, this Article draws on my original research into emerging public, private, and hybrid regimes to govern human supply chains in order to evaluate the three most common approaches.