Canada is importing more goods linked to child labour, but legislative changes could combat the increase: World Vision Canada report

The number of children engaged in child labour fell 38 per cent between 2000 and 2016, but now it’s rising

Why It Matters

Canada imported nearly $48 billion in risky goods in 2021, representing over 7.5 per cent of total imports. Greater supply chain transparency, stronger reporting requirements and a robust inspection regime would support ethical procurement practices and give organizations more powerful tools to protect children around the globe.

Climate change, COVID-19, conflict and rising costs have increased the number of child labourers for the first time in 20 years, according to a newly released World Vision Canada report.

Approximately 160 million children are working globally — 79 million of them in dirty, dangerous and degrading jobs — and an increasing number of the goods they produce are being imported into Canada. Michael Messenger, president and CEO of World Vision Canada, said Canadians would avoid those products if they were able to better identify them.

“Progress in the global fight to end child labour is being lost,” Messenger said. “Clearly, we need leadership from the federal government to ensure that companies are doing everything they can to both support Canadians who wish to make informed purchasing choices and to reverse these trends in their global supply chains.”

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