NZ humanitarian agencies launch open letter to demand action on modern slavery legislation.

07 Jul 2023 by World Vision
Two of New Zealand’s leading humanitarian agencies, Tearfund and World Vision, have launched an open letter demanding the government fulfil its commitment to progress modern slavery legislation in 2023.

The two organisations have released a powerful video which features ordinary Kiwis calling for immediate action on modern slavery, along with an open letter calling for action which they hope thousands of New Zealanders will sign.

Tearfund’s Head of Advocacy, Claire Gray, says the two agencies are frustrated at the government’s lack of action to introduce laws requiring New Zealand businesses to identify modern slavery in their operations and supply chains and take action to address them.

“After years of advocacy from the business community, overwhelming support from Kiwis, petitions, and participation in a government consultation process, we still don’t have modern slavery legislation. It’s not good enough,” she says.

World Vision’s Advocacy spokesperson, Morgan Theakston, says the time for empty promises from the Government is over.

“We have had numerous indications from the government that modern slavery legislation will progress to in 2023, but there has been no action. Meanwhile, more than 27 million people remain trapped in forced labour—many of them in our own backyard in Asia and the Pacific. There is no more time to waste,” she says.

The video features ordinary Kiwis who represent the eight out of ten New Zealanders who recently indicated their support for modern slavery law in a Talbot Mills Research poll.

Gray is urging fair minded Kiwis who believe workers should be treated with dignity and respect to sign the open letter as a final push for the Government to act with urgency.

New Zealanders can show their support for the millions trapped in slavery and sign the open letter here.