Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act (S.C. 2023, c. 9)

Last updated: 11 December 2023

The Act, coming into effect on January 1, 2024, implements Canada's international commitment against forced and child labour. It requires government institutions and entities to annually report to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness by May 31, detailing measures taken in the previous financial year to mitigate the risk of forced or child labour. This includes:

  • Reporting steps taken in the production of goods, whether produced, purchased, or distributed by a government institution, or produced in Canada or elsewhere by an entity, or imported into Canada by an entity.
  • Information about the institution's or entity's structure, activities, supply chains, policies, due diligence processes, risk assessments and management, remediation measures, employee training, and effectiveness assessments in ensuring no forced or child labour in their activities and supply chains.

The minister is responsible for maintaining an electronic registry of all reports, accessible to the public on the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness website. The minister also has discretion over the reports' form and delivery.

Covered business entities must have their reports approved by their governing body, typically the board of directors for corporations. Reports must be publicly accessible, including publication on websites. Corporations under the Canada Business Corporations Act must also deliver their report to each shareholder with annual financial statements.

To enforce the act, designated persons have significant investigative powers, and the minister can require entities to take necessary compliance measures. Non-compliance, including failure to prepare or disclose reports, obstructing investigations, or providing false information, is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000. Directors, officers, or agents responsible for committing an offence under the Act are also liable.

Lastly , the Act amends the Customs Tariff to prohibit importing goods produced wholly or partly by child labour, incorporating the definitions of “forced labour” and “child labour” from the Act into the Customs Tariff prohibition.

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