Canadians are speaking out against child labour in supply chains

Petition

More than 50,000 Canadians have signed a new petition demanding that Canada takes action on child labour, modern slavery, and other human rights violations in corporate supply chains, according to a coalition of Canadian NGO’s including Fairtrade Canada, World Vision, Save the Children and UNICEF Canada. 

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.

“Canadians have spoken and it’s time to listen,” says Julie Francoeur, Executive Director at Fairtrade Canada. “Effective supply chain legislation is possible with a multilateral commitment from government, industry and civil society. Fairtrade Canada is committed to supporting Canadian businesses in ensuring human rights due diligence in their 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., Co-President of the UNICEF Canada Campus Club at the University of Toronto, and the voice of the new change.org petition, which now has more than 50,000 signatures.

“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 Poet”, a Toronto spoken word activist speaking out against child exploitation and injustice.

Media Resources

Kassandra’s petition, with more than 50,000 signatures: HERE

Fairtrade Canada statement on ending child and forced labour in supply chains: HERE

Report: “A Call to Action: Ending the Use of All Forms of Child Labour in Supply Chains”: HERE

Poem by Toronto-based spoken word poet Patrick de Belen: HERE

Video call to action by Canadian youth: HERE

Fast Facts

  • Canadian imports of “risky products” now total $34B, a 31% increase over five years.
  • 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
  • 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