Legislation Needed To Stop Modern Slavery In Kiwi Supply Chains

Credit: Original article can be found here

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.

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