World Vision applauds successful passing of Bill S-211 to fight forced and child labour in supply chains

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  • Bill S-211, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, passed its final vote on May 3 
  • After more than 10 years of advocacy efforts, Canada finally has federal supply chain legislation to begin confronting child labour and forced labour throughout Canadian global supply chains 
  • By requiring companies to be transparent about their efforts to prevent and mitigate the risks of child and forced labour in their operations abroad, Bill S-211 will enable Canadians to have more confidence that their purchases are ethical 
When the weather conditions worsened in Cambodia, Khav was forced to drop out of school and start fishing to earn money. Migrant workers, including children, are held captive by unscrupulous labour brokers. The children are forced to do dangerous work in extremely poor conditions hundreds of miles from land for months at a time. Canada’s fish imports were valued at $440.6 million in 2021.
(May 04, 2023)

World Vision Canada celebrated the passing of Bill S-211, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act. The legislation was passed in the House of Commons on May 3, 2023, after receiving unanimous support in the Senate earlier this year. This landmark legislation, driven by Independent Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne and Liberal MP John McKay, will help combat forced labour and child labour in Canadian supply chains.  

“World Vision applauds parliamentarians for voting to take this important step in the fight against child and forced labour,” said Michael Messenger, President and CEO of World Vision Canada. “Canadians should be confident that their purchases are made responsibly and without exploiting vulnerable boys and girls. Bill S-211 will help ensure that Canadian companies gain visibility of the forced labour and child labour risks found in their global supply chains and share their progress with consumers.”  

“By passing this Bill, Canada is sending an important signal about its commitment to promote human rights and is ensuring that Canadian companies are not contributing to the exploitation of vulnerable workers, especially children,” said Messenger. “This Bill provides more transparency to consumers to equip them with the information they need to make ethical purchases, and this legislation serves as an important first step towards ensuring that companies’ operations contribute to a more just and sustainable global economy.” 

The Bill requires Canadian companies to report annually on measures they are taking to identify and address these risks, and creates a public database for consumers to review company submissions. The legislation also amends the Customs Tariff Act to prohibit the import of goods made with child labour. 

 S-211 does not mark the end of Canada’s efforts on these issues. The vote comes just weeks after the release of the most recent federal budget, which included a government commitment to introduce more legislation by the end of 2024.  

“We sincerely thank Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne and MP John McKay for their legislative leadership and for being tireless champions of this very important cause along with the tens of thousands of Canadians and young people across the country who advocated with us, on this momentous occasion seeing Bill S-211 becoming law,” said Messenger.

World Vision has contended that every person has the right to work in safe and fair conditions, and that every child deserves the opportunity to go to school and to grow up without being exploited in dirty, dangerous and degrading work. The organization has been advocating for stronger legislation to address child and forced labour in supply chains for over ten years as part of the #nochildforsale campaign. Over 160,000 Canadians have signed a petition calling for supply chain legislation since the campaign launched. 

World Vision is calling upon the Canadian government to continue to pursue legislation to build on the meaningful progress generated by Bill S-211. 


#NoChildForSale advocacy website and materials here 

Supply Chain Risk Report 2023 here