Three Reasons Why an Human Trafficking Law Makes Sense in Canada

Three Reasons Why an Human Trafficking Law Makes Sense in Canada

The United States and United Kingdom have both taken a stand against human trafficking, modern slavery and child labour through the development and implementation of strict supply chain transparency laws and regulations.

The UK Modern Slavery Act and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act already require companies to publicly disclose the efforts they are taking to address human trafficking in their supply chains. The goal of these laws is to prevent goods produced through these human rights violations from hitting domestic markets and encourage companies to take steps to eliminate human trafficking and forced labour from their supply chains.

Now that these laws are in place, the most recent being the U.S. Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, the question is this: should Canada follow suit? And why?

World Vision Canada believes the answer is yes. The NGO recently asked the Canadian Government to create legislation requiring large publicly-traded or private companies doing business in Canada to report on efforts to monitor, address and prevent human trafficking and child labour in their supply chains.

Here are three reasons World Vision’s ask makes sense in Canada:

It’s What Consumers Want

As public awareness of human trafficking and slavery issues continue to rise, consumers are increasingly concerned about making ethical choices. A 2015 survey completed on behalf of World Vision supports this idea, with 87% of Canadians agreeing that Canada should have supply chain transparency requirements.

It’s What Investors Want

In the UK, investors played a key role in lobbying parliament for the enactment of the UK Modern Slavery Act. They recognized this law would help mitigate investment risk. The same would be true in Canada, where the risks of finding human trafficking and modern slavery activities in supply chains are just as high.

Staying Competitive

The U.S. Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act prohibits the import of products made with forced or child labour. As a result, imported Canadian goods can be expected to face increased scrutiny by U.S. officials. If Canadian companies do not show they are committed to preventing these violations in their supply chains, they may be perceived as less competitive and less safe to U.S. business partners and investors.

We are seeing growing commitment from governments to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. This commitment began in the U.S., was picked up in the UK and is expected to continue from there. In order for these efforts to have real success in eliminating human trafficking and modern slavery across the globe, they require participation from the world’s top economies — of which Canada is one.

Could Canada be the next nation to take meaningful action against human trafficking and modern slavery? Quite possibly, yes.


To better prepare your organization for the impacts of new human trafficking and modern slavery legislation, download the eBook Human Trafficking, Slavery & Your Supply Chain.

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