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CIPS research has found that one in five procurement professionals have not taken any measures at all to secure their supply chains against modern slavery, and more than half lack the skills and confidence to tackle the issue

Editorial – February / March’19

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Australasia has welcomed the introduction of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act, a new piece of legislation that aims to help the business community take proactive and effective actions to mitigate the risk of slavery appearing in their supply chains.

The press release landed in my inbox towards the end of January, not long after I’d returned to work after the summer break. My inbox was swamped and, pressed for time, I initially skimmed over it, almost dismissing it. But then I went back and reread it, and started to wonder about the situation here in New Zealand. 

The Walk Free Foundation – a global organisation with a mission to end modern slavery in our generation – says slavery has existed in different forms since ancient times, and despite being outlawed in most countries, the crime persists. 

“Different countries use different terminologies, but ‘modern slavery’ includes the crimes of human trafficking, slavery, and slavery-like practices such as forced labour, forced or servile marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, and debt bondage,” the foundation says. “Modern slavery refers to situations where one person has taken away another person’s freedom by threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.”

The first person to be convicted of people trafficking in New Zealand was a Fijian man, who was found guilty in September 2016 of 15 human trafficking charges involving Fijian nationals. There’s a case before the courts at the moment following the arrest of a 64-year-old Samoan man in December who allegedly has been bringing Samoan nationals to New Zealand to work illegally for him in the horticultural industry since the 1990s.

You can read the full story in this edition of FTD. It’s appalling that within our supply chains there are people who are being exploited as slave labourers. Will New Zealand follow the lead of the UK and Australia and bring about legislation to address this issue?

Until next time …
Lynne Richardson, editor


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