Canadians speak out against child labour in supply chains

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Canadian imports of “risky products” now total $34B, a 31% increase over five years.
(January 29, 2019)
Canadian high school students holding examples of products that may have been made by children in support World Vision’s No Child For Sale campaign. Photo: Justin Park.

More than 50,000 Canadians have signed a new petition demanding that Canada takes action against child labour, modern slavery, and other human rights violations in corporate supply chains, according to a coalition of Canadian NGO’s including World Vision, Fairtrade Canada, Save the Children and UNICEF. Public pressure continues to build as conscientious consumers, youth groups and artists call on the Government of Canada to introduce supply chain legislation.  
With urgency for action mounting, the Government of Canada now has less than a month to respond to a report by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development offering realistic solutions, including legislative action to address child and forced labour in Canadian supply chains.
“As a young person living in Canada, I enjoy freedoms that protect my right to a safe future, a future I have the ability to choose. I find it heartbreaking that girls and boys globally do not have these same opportunities. Around the world, 152 million children are exploited through child labour, to provide the clothes we wear, the electronics we use, and the food we eat,” says Kassandra N., the voice of the new petition which now has more than 50,000 signatures.
“A lot of Canadian teens like all kinds of big brand names,” says Mira Gillis a high school student and World Vision Youth Ambassador from Windsor, Ontario. “But the fact that child labour may have contributed to what I buy has made me second guess what’s important to me. With this legislation, it would be the responsibility of Canadian companies to take action to address labour exploitation in their supply chains.”
“Every kid has the right to be safe and to have a childhood free from fear and danger. No matter our age, or where we come from, we can lend our voices to help support safer and less degrading environments for kids around the world,” says “Patrick the Spoken Word Artist”, a Toronto poet speaking out against child exploitation and injustice.  
Kassandra’s petition, with more than 50,000 signatures: HERE
“Where things come from” a spoken word poem by Patrick de Belen, a Toronto artist: HERE
Canadian youth video calling for action: HERE
Government of Canada report: “A Call to Action: Ending the Use of All Forms of Child Labour in Supply Chains”: HERE
No Child for Sale digital media kit with photos, stories and reports on child labour: HERE
  • Canadian imports of “risky products” now total $34B, a 31% increase over five years. (World Vision)
  • 91% of Canadians agree that the Canadian government should require companies to publicly report on who makes their products and what they are doing to reduce child labour in their supply chains (Ipsos)
  • Canada risks falling behind in the global fight to eliminate child and forced labour in supply chains. Five significant jurisdictions, the UK, France, Australia, California, and the Netherlands , have all passed supply chain legislation (World Vision)