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New action plan on forced labour, trafficking and slavery; advocates respond

April 01, 2021 at 11:29 AM

From the NZFVC

Following consultation, the government has published a five-year action plan to address forced labour, people trafficking and slavery.

The Combatting Modern Forms of Slavery: Plan of Action against Forced Labour, People Trafficking and Slavery 2020-25 is a high-level framework for the actions that government agencies will take over the next five years. It sets out the all-of-government approach to addressing these issues in the areas of prevention, protection and enforcement. 

Under the scope of the plan, it says the initiatives will "...focus on people trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices including forced labour, debt bondage and serfdom." It further states:

"We recognise that these forms of exploitation are often associated with other unlawful practices and criminal offences such as (but not limited to) breaches of employment standards, immigration fraud, physical and sexual assault including family violence, and money laundering. While not the focus of this Plan of Action, responding to those breaches and offences can assist in preventing or detecting serious exploitation.

Accordingly, we recognise the need for holistic action through a range of means and avenues, and the need to work in conjunction with other programmes across government. This includes progressing our Transnational Organised Crime Strategy and Action Plan, and work to address family violence and sexual violence."

The plan is focused on "...exploitation at the extreme end of the spectrum, while recognising that a comprehensive approach needs to address less extreme forms of exploitation which may escalate over time." Examples of extreme exploitation including trafficking in persons, coerced marriage, other forms of sexual exploitation, exploitation of the prostitution of others, slavery or practices similar to slavery and others. It outlines 28 high-level actions for government agencies.

The plan was finalised following public consultation in October 2020.

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Category: Government