New research linking New Zealand imports to child and forced labour
World Vision New Zealand published research on 29 April that showed New Zealanders imported approximately NZD 3.1 billion risky products in 2019. That equated to 5% of all spend of imports and around $34 per household.
Risky products were defined as those associated with forced labour (1.5 billion), child labour (713m) or child and forced labour (920m).
The research highlighted that there is little transparency over supply chain practice in New Zealand with many kiwis unknowingly buying products linked to exploitative practices and kiwi companies importing goods that may make them complicit in human rights abuses.
The research also profiled the legal development in many jurisdictions of banning imports linked to child and forced labour (page 10). When New Zealand is considering a New Zealand Modern Slavery Act, a key question is whether banning of imports should also be up for debate within the same legislation. Kris Gledhill, a law professor at AUT says that an amendment of the Customs and Excise Act 2018 to prohibit imports linked to child/forced labour could be a simple solution.
More articles on the research here:
Stuff NZ: Modern slavery: Kiwis spend $34 a week on goods linked to child and forced labour
NZ Herald: World Vision slavery, child labour research