What is our ask?
Trade Aid and World Vision respectfully request that the House of Representatives, as a matter of urgency, enacts Modern Slavery legislation that requires public and private entities to report on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and on the actions they are taking to address those risks.
Why is this important?
40 million people globally are in modern slavery. Unlike many other countries, New Zealand has no legislation that requires companies to undertake due diligence looking into the risks of modern slavery within their supply chains and taking actions to address those risks.
Modern Slavery legislation is a key way for New Zealand companies to work together to eliminate modern slavery in private and public sector supply chains.
WHAT IS MODERN SLAVERY?
Modern slavery is the severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain. Modern slavery is a human rights violation with exploitation at its heart. Forced labour, human trafficking, sexual exploitation and debt bondage are forms of modern slavery.
WHY WE NEED A MODERN SLAVERY ACT?
There are more people in slavery now than in any other time in history. Modern slavery is in the clothes you wear, the coffee you drink and the goods you love. The world is small and interconnected. Every time we purchase a product there is a chain reaction felt around the world. Clothing. Sugar. Electronics. No country or industry is unaffected.
It’s time to make slavery in our products history. Modern Slavery Acts make it easier for a consumer to expect slavery-free products and services from companies. They help prevent slavery through transparency and accountability. They require businesses to understand the risks of modern slavery in their purchasing, to report on those risks and take action to address them. They give the business community guidance and a level playing field.
New research by World Vision in May 2021 links $3.1 billion of risky products being imported into New Zealand in a single year. These products are those we use and consume every day. Read the research.
Do New Zealand businesses support this?
On 16 March 2021, an open letter was presented to the government by 85 New Zealand businesses expressing their support for progressing the work required for a Modern Slavery Act. Since then, many other businesses have added their voices. View the open letter with supporting business logos here.
If you are a New Zealand business and you want to add your support read more here.
Following the presentation of the Sign For Freedom petition to Parliament on July 1, 2021 the written submissions of Trade Aid and World Vision New Zealand were considered by the Petitions Committee on 9 Sep, 2021. You can read this joint submission here.