Thursday, 1 April 2021
Labour Exploitation and Trafficking (Audit of Supply Chains) Bill 2021: First Stage
That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for transparent reporting by undertakings in relation to the risk of labour exploitation and human trafficking occurring in their supply chains or in any part of their business and of the steps taken by them to ensure such activities do not take place; and to provide for connected matters.
This Bill is in my name and in those of Deputies Sherlock and Nash. The Tánaiste might have an interest in this legislation. We could potentially be world leaders when it comes to ending child exploitation and human trafficking globally. This Bill would require businesses to report annually on what measures they have taken to ensure that their products do not involve human trafficking and child labour exploitation.
Crises such as the pandemic in which we are living involve considerable amounts of self-analysis at community and national levels. A phrase that is often used is that we should not go back to normal when normal was the problem. There are, of course, issues in our country but there are also issues in the world. At the top of that list must be child exploitation and human trafficking. What are we doing in this small country of ours that has global reach in order to take a stand against child exploitation and human trafficking? We should require businesses and the commercial sector to ensure annually that no child exploitation or human trafficking were involved in the production of all products that are made or produced here. Every business in Ireland needs to make an annual declaration to that effect. That is what our Bill is seeking to do.
This is a Bill that should get support from across the House. Notwithstanding the fact that the Tánaiste walked out in the middle of my presentation of this Bill, which addresses issues that come under his remit, it is a Bill that would do a lot of good. It would turn our minds annually, and I hope more often, to the issues of child exploitation and human trafficking, which continue to be a scourge across the world.