Industry News

Forced and Child Labor Developments in Canada

Mar. 29, 2023
By: Pietro N. Bianchi

Canada’s Bill S-211, “Fighting Against Forced Labor and Child Labor in Supply Chains Act,” is making its way through the legislative process and seems likely to become law soon. The Act would increase supply chain transparency and impose greater reporting obligations on private sector entities by requiring businesses with as few as 250 employees to annually report the measures taken to prevent and reduce the risk of forced and child labor in their supply chains. The Annual Report must be provided to the Canadian Government and made public “including by publishing it in a prominent place on [a business’] website.”

The Act would require private sector entities doing business in Canada to provide the following information in the Act’s mandated annual report:

(a) its structure, activities and supply chains;

(b) its policies and its due diligence processes in relation to forced labor and child labor;

(c) the parts of its business and supply chains that carry a risk of forced labor or child labor being used and the steps it has taken to assess and manage that risk;

(d) any measures taken to remediate any forced labor or child labor;

(e) any measures taken to remediate the loss of income to the most vulnerable families that results from any measure taken to eliminate the use of forced labor or child labor in its activities and supply chains;

(f) the training provided to employees on forced labor and child labor; and

(g) how the entity assesses its effectiveness in ensuring that forced labor and child labor are not being used in its business and supply chains.

These measures are more stringent, but not unlike CBP’s CTPAT requirements in that the government is placing the burden on to self-police their supply chains. Canada is moving forward at the same time Mexico and Germany have also moved forward on forced labor issues. It would be wise from a risk mitigation viewpoint for business to develop a policies and procedures for preventing, reducing the risk, monitoring, and addressing instances of forced and child labor if they have not done so already. Because, honestly, what are you waiting for?

If you have questions about forced or child labor compliance do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Barnes Richardson, & Colburn LLP.