A Bangladeshi garment worker wearing a face mask. Credit Marcel Crozet ILO

Our Thoughts On Bill S-211

Learn about Oxfam Canada's recommendation to the Minister of Labour

On November 18, 2022, Oxfam Canada submitted a recommendation on Bill S-211 to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. In it, we call on the Minister of Labour to introduce robust and comprehensive mandatory due diligence legislation that includes all human rights and all business sectors.

What is Bill S-211

Bill S-211, also known as the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act, is a legislative proposal that aims to enhance transparency and combat forced labor and child labor in supply chains. We don’t believe it goes far enough.

Why it matters

Canada is at a crossroads regarding corporate accountability and responsible business conduct. A strong legislative framework is needed that recognizes that all companies have a responsibility to respect human rights.

Canada’s human rights obligations include respect for all human rights, including women’s rights and the right to a living wage. Parliament should adopt effective legislation that includes adherence to all internationally recognized human rights. Companies must ensure they pay their workers a living wage and mitigate, prevent and remedy human rights and environmental harm.

Canadian legislation should apply to all companies of all sizes and sectors, and include the entire supply chain, and should include protections against re-victimization and ensure guarantees of non-recurrence. It should also include a feminist analysis, and be broad in scope.

Bill S-211 does none of the above, and we encourage all parties and Parliament to work together to introduce effective legislation.

We call on the Foreign Affairs Committee to table a more robust and progressive bill.

Read our full submission on Bill S-211: