Canadian Investors Support Steps Toward Legislation to Ending Modern Slavery and Child Labour in Supply Chains

By February 11, 2019News, Press Release

The Government of Canada says it will begin consultations on supply chain due diligence legislation in 2019

Canadian investors welcome the Government of Canada’s commitment to begin consultation on supply chain due diligence legislation in 2019. Such legislation will help the private sector identify and root out modern slavery and child labour in their business activity, according to the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE), the leading investor voice on human rights and responsible investment in Canada.

The government’s commitment comes in its response to the Foreign Affairs Committee report “A Call to Action: Ending the Use of All Forms of Child Labour in Supply Chains”. Additional commitments include revision of procurement policies, and tools and guidance for business.

“Investors need to know that the companies they own are not associated with human rights abuses, including child labour or modern slavery in any form,” said Kevin Thomas, Executive Director of SHARE. “These practices are morally wrong, they’re antithetical to responsible business conduct and their presence in global supply chains heightens legal, operational and reputational risks to our investments.

“In the UK, France, Australia and elsewhere legislation is already in place to support this,” he added. “We are pleased to see Canada taking steps to build its own regime. We hope that it will result in Canadian companies taking the lead in meeting global human rights standards.”

Leading Canadian companies are already addressing supply chain human rights risks either in response to legislation elsewhere or on their own initiative. Canadian legislation should ensure that all market participants are held to the same standards.

“We are eager to see the government move quickly to begin consultations with stakeholders, including investors and businesses, to develop an effective, consistent and responsive system for human rights due diligence,” Thomas said.

Read the full response from the Government of Canada here:

http://www.ourcommons.ca/content/Committee/421/FAAE/GovResponse/RP10314755/421_FAAE_Rpt19_GR/421_FAAE_Rpt19_GR-e.pdf

Notes for Editor

Interviews available with Delaney Greig, Manager of Engagement and Policy, 416.306.6463 or [email protected].

For more information, contact Damon van der Linde at [email protected]

About SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research & Education)

Since 2000, the Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE) has built a community of values-driven investors who are committed to amplifying their voices in support of a sustainable, inclusive and productive economy. SHARE is the leading non-profit investor voice on human rights and responsible investment in Canada, representing a growing network of institutional investors with more than $23 billion in assets under management. SHARE provides proxy voting analysis, shareholder engagement, education, policy advocacy, and practical research on issues related to responsible investment. SHARE’s clients include pension funds, mutual funds, foundations, faith-based organizations and asset managers across Canada.

www.share.ca / @share_ca