Legislation Needed To Stop Modern Slavery In Kiwi Supply Chains
Many of the 40 million children, women and men in modern slavery worldwide are producing products that are sold in New Zealand homes and workplaces.
It is estimated that around $3.1 billion of ‘risky’ products are imported into New Zealand in a single year.
“As households, we unwittingly spend an average of $34 per week – only slightly less than on our electricity spend – on industries whose products are implicated in modern slavery. Right now, companies do not need to do even the most basic checks,” says CEO of World Vision, Grant Bayldon in a new report, Risky Goods New Zealand Imports.
This “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach makes it almost impossible for Kiwis to know if what they’re buying is slavery-free. World Vision and Trade Aid, supported by other Council for International Development (CID) members, will present a petition calling on the government to introduce a Modern Slavery Act.
“Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and many other places in the world already have legislation in place or in development. New Zealand is behind and we urgently need to catch up,” says Director of Council for International Development, Josie Pagani.
Over 100 businesses, including some of New Zealand’s best known brands like The Warehouse, Coca-Cola NZ, Barkers and many more, have joined the call for Modern Slavery legislation, and many thousands of Kiwis have already signed the petition. Legislation would encourage businesses to work together to raise standards and stamp out modern slavery from supply chains.
The petition will be presented to the government on June 29. You can still sign the petition here.