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Monday, January 30, 2023

Canada’s S-211 bill will not eliminate child labour slavery in the supply chains of Canada, says human rights activist

Canada’s Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act or Bill (S-211) will be the most racist law in recent Canadian history, because almost all workers and children exploited in the supply chains of Canada are not white, says human rights activist, journalist, and political consultant Fernando Morales-de la Cruz.

Recently, Canada’s Bill S-211, the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, came back from the standing committee unchanged.

Bill S-211 has already passed through the Senate, and on June 1, 2022, it passed its second reading in the House of Commons.

The bill is now at the report stage in the House of Commons.

Morales-de la Cruz said that Bill S-211 remains a flawed and meaningless piece of legislation.

“The bill is nonetheless expected to pass into law as early as next week, with multi-party support.”

Canada’s Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act or Bill S-211 will be the most racist law in recent Canadian history, because almost all workers and children exploited in the supply chains of Canada are not white, said Morales-de la Cruz.

Morales-de la Cruz recently urged Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who committed at the G7 Summit in Elmau, Germany last year, to eliminate forced labour and child labour in the supply chains of Canada.

“Of course, Canada also has state obligations to respect, protect and defend human rights and children’s rights. Bill S-211 which is being promoted as a legal initiative ‘against forced labour and child labour’ was created to protect the exploiters not the exploited,” he said.

“Some 74 years after signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and nearly 33 years after ratifying the Convention on Rights of the Child, even the coffee, tea, and chocolate at the Canadian parliament is produced by slave or child labour.

“The Canadian parliament is about to pass a modern slavery bill that will not eliminate slavery, and will protect the companies that use child labour in their Canadian supply chains to reduce costs and increase profits.”

It’s fair to say that Bill S-211 will tickle the exploiters, but it will not tackle forced labour or child labour in the supply chains of Canada. This is absolutely unacceptable and extremely cruel, Morales-de la Cruz said.

“Considering the commitment by Prime Minister Trudeau at the G7 meeting, I trust that the representatives of his government in the Canadian parliament will draft a real anti-slavery and anti-child labour bill that will protect the rights of the poor in the supply chains of Canada, exploited to reduce costs and increase profits.”

Morales-de la Cruz also alleged that Canadian investors like the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan profit from the exploitation of hundreds of thousands of African children by investing in corporations that use minors in their supply chains to reduce costs and increase profits.

According to Vision Canada, about 4.3 million children work in forced labour, including debt bondage, slavery and commercial sexual exploitation. Over 1 200 companies operating in Canada are known to be importing goods at a high risk of being produced by a child or through forced labour.

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