“Every household in New Zealand spends on average $34 a week on goods associated with either forced labour or child labour” (World Vision, 2021).

Who remembers the petition for modern slavery legislation launched by World Vision and Trade Aid in 2021? 

At this time, Michelle Bruce, who attends Dunedin City Baptist Church, wrote on benefiting from structures of oppression:

“We cannot be indifferent or apathetic to structures of oppression that we benefit from. This is why supporting legislative action in the area of Modern Slavery is a practical way to help bring about change.”

With modern slavery legislation, businesses will be required to identify and disclose slavery risks in their supply chains and implement actions to address them. This increased transparency pressures businesses to be more responsible and means we can make more informed purchasing decisions and support fairer practices

Michelle continues, “As Christians, we are called to “learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless and plead the widow’s cause” (Isaiah 1:17 ESV)”. 

37,000 Kiwis signed the Modern Slavery Act petition, and in September 2022, the government pronounced an expected introduction of a modern slavery bill to Parliament this term of government…


Nothing’s happened…yet

Following is World Vision and Tearfund’s call to the government to progress modern slavery legislation before the election. If you want to get behind this, we invite you to sign the open letter and make it happen!

“We believe in a world where everyone is safe at work, treated with dignity and rewarded fairly. Sadly, this is not the case, with approximately 50 million people trapped in slavery globally. Many of these people, including children, work to produce goods we buy right here in New Zealand. We urge you to prioritise those who are trapped in modern slavery and introduce a bill to address modern slavery to Parliament before the election”.

Sign the open letter if you want the government to stop delaying modern slavery legislation.

The open letter closes on Monday, August 7.

World Vision. (2021). Risky goods: New Zealand imports. https://www.worldvision.org.nz/getmedia/6904e490-14b7-4fbf-b11e-308ddf99c44a/WVNZ-research-risky-goods-nz-imports/

Previous Baptist NZ articles on modern slavery legislation:

Not just waiting for modern slavery law

Benefitting from structures of oppression

Cover Photo: Clothing factory in Indonesia by Rio Lecatompessy on Unsplash

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