Aotearoa New Zealand

Modern Slavery Act

 

16 million people worldwide are forced into labour to make the everyday products we buy.  They live as slaves.

A Modern Slavery Act will help end forced labour and ensure that slave-made goods have no place in New Zealand. It will send a message to the world that we won’t stand this injustice anymore and are demanding action. Now.  

Over 100 New Zealand businesses and 37,000 Kiwis have called on the New Zealand Government to introduce a Modern Slavery Act to New Zealand, and our voices have been heard. The government has responded and put forth legislation for public consideration. You can see a 1-page summary of the proposal here.

Complete the form below to send your submission directly to the New Zealand government.

 

We've included this template below for you to either submit as is, or personalise.

The content provided in “Your Submission” online form and/or any uploaded files and documents will be published to the New Zealand Parliament website and available to public search engines. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submission does not include any personal information that you do not want published.

Why a Modern Slavery Act? 

In 2019, New Zealand imported $3.1 billion of products at risk of being made with modern slavery – including clothing, footwear, toys, electronics, bananas, coffee, tobacco and furniture. In the Asia and Pacific region, four out of every 1,000 people are victims of forced labour. 

With no requirements for companies to have transparent and traceable supply chains, it is extremely difficult for Kiwis to avoid buying risky goods. Businesses that make the effort to prevent slavery in their supply chains face stiff competition from businesses that do not take these steps. 

Check out this quick excerpt from our Modern Slavery Video Series to learn more about what a Modern Slavery Act could mean for New Zealand: 

Kiwis must come together to make it loud and clear that we won’t stand for the mistreatment of our brothers and sisters. We demand products that uphold the fair treatment of all people, pay a living wage, and do not perpetuate injustice.

 


Verbally abused and exhausted: Who makes our clothes? 

I am Linika*, I am now 18 years old. I was 14 years old when I started working in a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The plan was to work and send money home to my mother. 

The working hours were long – 8:00am to 9:00pm or even 10:00pm some days. Sometimes we had to work overnight.  

There was a lot of pressure. If we made any kind of mistake, the supervisors would shout at us. The verbal abuse was always there. Though it was hard for me to tolerate it, I still had to work, otherwise who would help my mother?  

Whenever the buyers would come to visit, the supervisor and others would hide us in a different room or behind the carton boxes. There were around five of us children working in that factory. 

Later on, I got married at the age of 16. When I became pregnant, I left the job. That was about one and half years ago. Now, we live in a 3 square meter room. I have my own gas stove but we share a bathroom with many other families in this slum. 

In the future, I think I'll go back to work because in Dhaka it is not possible to live on one income. Everything is very expensive. I want to send my daughter to school and educate her for a better future. 

*Name changed for privacy purposes. 

 

The impact 


A Modern Slavery Act will mean companies are required to understand and address these risks and take actions to protect vulnerable people, like Linika, in their supply chains. It will also mean they have to publicly report on their progress.  

With robust modern slavery legislation, people will be able to have more assurance that the products they are purchasing are slavery-free.    

 

Will you make your voice heard?

Make a Submission

 

Check out this video to learn more about the ways modern slavery exists in the products we buy: 

Why does New Zealand need a Modern Slavery Act?

Read more
Woman working in a clothing factory

A Modern Slavery Act for New Zealand, could help you shop guilt-free

Read more