A proposed new law in Canada, the ‘Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains’ Act, would see firms having to ‘identify, assess, and address’ the risk of exploitation in their supply chains.
This follows similar proposals in other countries around the world, with the European Commission presenting a legislative proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive in February.
The bill was first introduced in the Senate in November 2021 and is now in the report stage in the House of Commons.
If passed, it would require Canadian businesses in supply chains to report and publicise their labour practises, proposing fines for companies that make false or misleading statements in these reports.
The proposal responds to the recommendations of a 2018 report by the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (SDIR) on child labour in supply chains.
This report recommended that the government develop incentives and legislation to encourage Canadian businesses to eliminate unfair labour practises in their supply chains.
After the report stage, there will be a third and final reading in the House of Commons before the bill can go on to become law.