No matter where we live, everyone 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.
Each week, every household in New Zealand spends $77 on goods associated with child and forced labour.
Right now, there is no requirement for businesses to take action to address and reduce modern slavery in their supply chains. This ‘don’t-ask, don’t-tell’ approach means that it’s almost impossible for New Zealanders to have confidence that what we buy, and use is slavery-free.
Learn more about the risky goods New Zealand imports.
Under the new law, companies will be required to be transparent and annually disclose the risks of modern slavery in their supply chains and operations. The law will apply to all companies with an annual revenue over $20 million, which includes around 4000 entities in New Zealand. Reporting statements will be made available to the public in an online register, and there will be penalties if companies don’t comply.
We’re thrilled that this is a strong reporting law! Reporting is important because it means that businesses who may have never thought about modern slavery before will need to become educated on the issue and understand how it relates to their operations and supply chains.
However, we know that the law also needs due diligence to make a meaningful difference for people trapped in slavery. This is the requirement for businesses to take action to address and reduce slavery risks. The great news is the government has committed to including this in the future, but it hasn’t given a clear timeline.
With the introduction of this law, we’re one step closer to a world where Kiwis can be confident that the products lining New Zealand shelves are made by people who are treated with dignity and rewarded fairly.