The US will impose a $10,00 fine on companies that knowingly recruit children as part of their commercial activities, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.
The new rules are expected to make it easier for the government to take enforcement action against foreign-owned companies for trafficking in children.
In 2016, the US Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security launched an initiative called the US-Mexico Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, or TRPRA, to help prevent child trafficking in the United States.
The act was introduced with bipartisan support in the House in January 2017, and is now expected to be passed by Congress before the end of this month.
The Department of Justice said in a statement that it will enforce the new rule on foreign-operated businesses, including those with US subsidiaries.
“Foreign-operated entities operating within the United [States] must have appropriate procedures in place to ensure that children are not recruited or exploited in their commercial activity,” the statement read.
The statement added that companies that do not comply with the new requirements could face a civil penalty of up to $10 and a criminal penalty of $10 million.
The US Department of State, which administers the Trafficking in Persons and Eligibility for Admission to the United Nations (TIP), is expected to release a list of foreign-run businesses that the US will take enforcement actions against.