|Organization Name:||International Justice Mission Canada|
|Project Title:||Advocating for Supply Chain Legislation in Canada Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To advocate for more restrictive policies that protect vulnerable individuals from coercive labour conditions.|
Canada is one of the G20 nations that has not yet taken action to stop sourcing goods and services at risk of being produced by forced labour slavery—in other words, to take action on slavery in supply chains. Of the G20 nations, 8 countries have taken action: Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Canada should take action on this issue:
• It is estimated that more than 1200 companies operating in Canada are importing goods that have been produced by child or forced labour.
• A recent poll by Ipsos Reid showed that 91% of Canadians want to know if child labour and modern slavery has been used in the supply chain and what the government is doing to combat it.
Two pieces of Canadian legislation have recently been introduced to address slavery in supply chains.
-The first is a Private Member’s Bill, Bill C-423, introduced by Liberal MP John McKay
-The second, the Transparency in Supply Chains Act (TSCA), was introduced into the Senate by the All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery on April 2019.
However, it is unlikely that either of these bills will be passed before an election is called.
In addition, in February 2019, the Government of Canada committed to launching a public consultation to explore possible supply chain legislation.
IJM is launching a 2019 campaign to reach all candidates of all parties with the simple question, “Will you support the introduction of legislation addressing slavery in supply chains in the new parliament?”
With these candidate confirmations, we will be approaching MPs of the new government offering to provide expert consultation on any new legislation and in mid-2020, the “Walk for Freedom” with the subsequent city campaign in Ottawa will be used to bring attention and pressure to ensure that this legislation moves forward.
This advocacy effort is aimed at putting in place substantive legislation that will ensure companies eliminate slavery from their supply chains and report on their efforts transparently. Not only will this benefit the Canadian consumers who are keenly interested in this topic, but more importantly, it will ensure that thousands of people now living and working in slavery have a chance for freedom and a better life. IJM will also benefit directly if legislation is passed, due to companies wanting to engage with us to use our expertise to work with local authorities whenever they choose to source from areas deemed ‘high risk’. Ultimately, the need for a fully functioning public justice system will be enhanced and supported.
This will be the second stage of an advocacy program started in the fall of 2019. Sitting Members of Parliament will be encouraged to support legislation to ensure slavery is not in corporate supply chains.
- Media attention will be garnered through a ‘Walk for Freedom’ from London, ON to Ottawa by the VP of Programs & Operations. Local MPs and business leaders will be invited to participate. There will be specific media and corporate partner targets.
- Walk will culminate in Ottawa with speaking events on September 20, 2020 which is IJM’s Freedom Sunday worldwide and will focus on the need for clean supply chains. There will be specific targets for numbers of churches IJM speaks at.
- There will be a two to three week city campaign surrounding Freedom Sunday in Ottawa to focus the attention on this issue and to obtain commitments from the sitting MPs to support this legislation. The target will be for MP’s to state that they will work to implement this legislation.
*Content provided by International Justice Mission Canada