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Fair&good demand government action on modern slavery legislation

Kiwi not-for-profit fair&good have written an open letter urging the new government to introduce modern slavery legislation into New Zealand law. The initiative, backed by over 60 advocates including Hagar NZ, World Vision, and Trade Aid, organisations like the Sustainable Business Network and Mindful Fashion, ethical businesses including Kowtow, Karma Drinks, and Bennetto Chocolate, as well as researchers and academics, seeks to rally extensive support for this crucial human rights issue.

Modern slavery affects nearly 50 million children, men and women worldwide and is a significant concern for those involved in producing goods for global supply chains. Currently, many New Zealand businesses lack visibility over their supply chains, with most having little to no initiatives in place to address modern slavery.

“None of us want to be complicit in modern slavery. It is abhorrent. But until our government passes modern slavery legislation we simply won’t know if the things we consume every day are slave free,” says fair&good co-founder, Dr. Susan Maiava.

The proposed legislation would require companies to report on potential modern slavery risks in their operations and take proactive steps to mitigate these risks, measures already in place in other OECD countries. Simply put, it will ensure that workers in supply chains are treated with dignity, fairness and respect; combating exploitation and human trafficking.

The open letter emphasises the urgency of the issue, noting that despite detailed advice and urging from the business community and the public since 2021, the legislation was not introduced into Parliament before the last election. fair&good is calling on the new government to prioritise this legislation and demonstrate New Zealand’s commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.

fair&good and its supporting partners are calling on the public to lend their voices to this cause by signing the open letter and helping to spread awareness. The collective goal is to reach 10,000 signatures and send a strong message to the government: the issue of modern slavery cannot, and should not, be sidelined.

“We need your support to hold our new government accountable, and protect the freedom and dignity of the people who make the products we all consume,” says Dr Susan Maiava.

Sign the open letter here and learn more about this initiative on fairandgood.co.nz

 

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