Amidst increasing awareness of Canadian business ties to forced labour overseas, Ottawa is being urged to make better use of legal and policy tools at its disposal to attack this problem. In this short backgrounder we take stock of Canada's existing legislation and policies of relevance 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.
Consensus Starting Points: Framing a Canadian Discussion on Human Rights in the Global Operations and Supply Chains of Canadian Companies
Canadian businesses, civil society, labour and government are looking for the best path forward to prevent and eliminate adverse human rights impacts in the global operations and supply chains of companies based in Canada and/or doing business in Canada. Above Ground and 34 other civil society groups have proposed a series of consensus starting points as a basis for further dialogue.