Governments in Europe are legally requiring businesses to respect human rights in their supply chains. Instead of following their lead, Canada is expected to adopt a law that will merely require companies to say what they're doing, if anything, to reduce the risk that they're sourcing goods produced by forced labour.
Amidst increasing awareness of Canadian business ties to forced labour overseas, Ottawa is being urged to make better use of legal and policy tools to attack this problem. In this brief, we take stock of Canada's existing legislation and policies related to forced labour in international supply chains, and how they are — or aren't — being enforced.
Broad support is building for due diligence legislation in Canada, placing the topic firmly within policy debates on Parliament Hill. Tomorrow human rights defenders from the Global South will remind us why such a law is urgently needed.
As Supermax case highlights slavery risks in supply chains, a call to action for mandatory due diligence
Last month Ottawa cancelled two contracts to purchase gloves made by Supermax Corporation in Malaysia, drawing attention once again to slavery risks in Canadian supply chains.
In this letter to The Hill Times, Above Ground's director Karen Hamilton argues that Canadian lawmakers should build on global best practice in supply chain legislation and adopt a mandatory human rights due diligence law—and not ineffective reporting legislation such as the proposed Modern Slavery Act.
Tens of millions of people around the globe are trapped in forced labour. The Canadian government should take steps to not only warn companies against profiting from the abuse, but prevent them from doing so.