No matter where they live, people should be safe at work, treated with dignity, and rewarded fairly. Right now, modern slavery stands in the way of those things for 50 million people around the world. And here in New Zealand – we’re connected to the problem. Many of the people stuck in slavery right now are producing products we use every day.
We're supporting the government's consultation to put law in place that ensures we’re doing everything we can to stop slavery from being in our supply chains. Australia, the United Kingdom, and many countries in the EU already have legislation in place that protects people. New Zealand needs to catch up. Together, as we call on our government to make this law a reality, we’re supporting accountability for business and dignity for everyone – no matter who they are or where they live.
On average, in 2019, every adult in New Zealand drank three cups of coffee a week associated with child and forced labour.
No child should have to work instead of going to school. 13-year-old Elijah has been forced to cut coffee plants since he was just 7-years old. For kids like Elijah, the hours are long and the work is dangerous.
Elijah dreams of a brighter future, he hopes to become a teacher one day.
In 2019, New Zealand imported more than $45.5 million, or 700 million cups of coffee that was risky. The top four sources of risky coffee were Brazil (27.9%), Colombia (22.1%), Vietnam (20.9%) and Guatemala (9.9%).
Most people in New Zealand care about the well-being of the people who make the things they use and want to play their part in ending modern slavery. We’re calling for legislation that would help Kiwis to know that the products they’re buying were made by people who are treated with dignity and fairness at work. We’re also calling for legislation that will level the playing field for businesses who are already doing the right thing. Those who cut corners will be held accountable for their actions, and they won’t be able to undercut others who are doing the right thing. Read more about our three key asks of government here.
Every household in New Zealand spends on average $34 a week on goods associated with either forced labour or child labour – that’s only slightly less than we spend on electricity a week.
Right now, there is no requirement for businesses to do basic checks on their supply chains. This ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach means that it’s almost impossible for kiwis to have confidence that what we buy and use is slavery-free.
Learn more about the risky goods New Zealand imports.
Nasrin (15), Bangladesh
Instead, Nasrin was working in a garment factory cutting denim for jeans.Nasrin would work 12 hours a day, and had cuts all over her hands from the scissors she used. “My boss uses bad language when I cannot fulfil my duties quick enough. The words can not be repeated,” Nasrin said. “Sometimes I cry when that happens, but I look down, hide my tears with my scarf.”
She was expected to cut enough denim for 1,500 pairs of denim a day, all to earn the equivalent of $1.80.
Girls like Nasrin shouldn’t have to work crazy hours in dangerous conditions. The factory she works in should be required to have health and safety standards. The introduction of modern slavery legislation in New Zealand is needed so that changes are made down the supply chain, and the lives of girls like Nasrin are changed for the better.