Canada has announced its intention to introduce legislation to eradicate forced labour from its supply chains, sparked by China’s ongoing persecution of its Uyghur Muslim population and the conditions in which they are forced to work.
In its Budget 2023 announcement this week, the Canadian government stated that it “is gravely concerned by the ongoing human rights violations against Uyghurs and Muslim minorities in China, as well as by the use of forced labour around the world. Given these concerns, it is important that importers address their supply chain vulnerabilities and ensure their production promotes our shared Canadian values around the world.”
It added that the country’s Budget 2023 “announces the federal government’s intention to introduce legislation by 2024 to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains to strengthen the import ban on goods produced using forced labour. The government will also work to ensure existing legislation fits within the government’s overall framework to safeguard our supply chains.”
The planned legislation is one of many measures that Ottawa has announced in its budget, elaborating in an impact assessment that “this measure will benefit people and workers subjected to and impacted by forced labour around the world. This includes Uyghurs and other minority groups impacted by forced labour, who face credible reports of human rights violations, including widespread forced labour and gender-based violence.” It added that “Canadians will also benefit from supply chains that are better aligned with Canadian values”.