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Another nail in the coffin of slave labour

Hon Maryan Street
Spokesperson for Tertiary Education
Spokesperson for Trade
Spokesperson for Treaty Negotiations

22 July 2009 Media Statement

Another nail in the coffin of slave labour

A bill to ban imports made from slave labour, sponsored by Opposition Trade Spokesperson Maryan Street, has been drawn from Parliament’s Members’ Bills ballot today.

“This bill will be another nail in the coffin of slave labour,” said Maryan Street.

“Slavery was abolished in Britain in the 18th century and the ban on slavery is the foundation stone of modern international human rights law. It is illegal in practically every country in the world and the few governments which tolerate it can be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court in the Hague,” she said.

“It is not too much to ask that New Zealand prohibit the importation into our country of any goods which are made, in whole or in part, by slave labour. That will mean explicitly identifying countries which are using slave labour to produce products which they want to export to New Zealand and banning their entry to our borders.

That is why I have chosen to use the Customs and Excise legislation to achieve these ends.”

“We live in the 21st century. This bill is part of the modern day accommodation of human rights and free trade,” said Maryan Street.



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