Consultation on labour exploitation in global supply chains

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Notice

This webpage provides information on the 2019 Government of Canada consultations on possible measures to address labour exploitation, including child and forced labour, in supply chains. These consultations were held in-person, and through an online survey, from May 2019 to June 2019. The What We Heard Report provides a summary of the feedback received from interested parties during these consultations.

The Minister of Labour’s December 2021 mandate letter includes a commitment to lead the introduction of legislation to eradicate forced labour from the supply chains of Canadian businesses and ensure that Canadian businesses operating abroad do not contribute to human rights abuses. The Minister will be supported in this work by the Minister of Public Safety, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. This initiative is complemented by a number of measures that the Government of Canada has undertaken to tackle labour exploitation in global supply chains in recent years, as summarised in the preamble of the What We Heard Report.

Policy work is underway to examine key elements that often form part of supply chain legislation, in order to determine the appropriate approach for the Canadian context. These elements include:

  • the scope of potential legislation (e.g. human rights focused legislation, forced labour focused legislation)
  • the type of requirements for businesses (e.g. due diligence obligations, transparency reporting)
  • the entities that would be captured by the legislation and any potential flexibilities that should be considered (e.g. threshold requirements, phased-in approach, flexibilities for smaller businesses)
  • the approach to enforcement (e.g. potential penalties, options for remedy) and governance (e.g. governance body and its powers), and
  • any non-legislative tools and other measures that are needed to support entities in meeting their obligations under the legislation

If you have any input or comments on the above-mentioned, or other key elements of potential supply chain legislation, please send an email to EDSC.AIIT.ChainesApprovisionnement-SupplyChains.IILA.ESDC@labour-travail.gc.ca by Friday April 8, 2022.

Current status: 2019 Consultation closed, however comments are still being accepted by email until Friday April 8, 2022

This consultation ran from May 17, 2019 to June 30, 2019.

We thank everyone who participated

We asked for stakeholder feedback on possible ways to address labour exploitation in global supply chains. This first phase of consultations responded to the 2018 report by the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. You can read the full report, A Call to Action: Ending the Use of all Forms of Child Labour in Supply Chains.

As noted above, written comments on the potential key elements of supply chain legislation are welcome until Friday April 8, 2022.

Consultation details

We sought information from stakeholders to help determine how to address labour exploitation in global supply chains, which could include:

  • child labour
  • forced labour, and
  • other human rights abuses

Who was the focus of this consultation

Everyone was welcome to participate, however we were particularly interested in receiving feedback from key stakeholders, including unions, businesses, experts, investors and civil society organizations.

What the consultation was about

The feedback we received will inform any future legislation, or policy initiatives, on supply chains in Canada.

What we heard

Final reports

Related information

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Interested media can contact media relations

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