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New Zealand: Research supports need for new legislation to protect against worker exploitation

"Workers treated like 'modern slaves'", 11 September 2017 

...Migrant workers who had fallen victim to exploitation and human trafficking in New Zealand relayed disturbing accounts...in a two-year, 105-person-interview study.

They claimed their movements were restricted and they'd been forced to work up to 18 hours a day, living in overcrowded, sub-standard accommodation. Some said New Zealand authorities had refused to listen to pleas for help.

[University of Auckland Business School researcher Dr Christina Stringer] says her research showed the two worst industries for worker exploitation were horticulture and hospitality: "In horticulture, people are routinely paid less than the minimum wage and they agree just to get a job - some paid as little as $5 an hour; some employers threaten to report them to Immigration NZ if they complain...".

Stringer, an associate professor in International Business, is also an advocate for New Zealand's adoption of a Modern Slavery Act, currently being considered in Australia.

Such legislation, she says, not only covers workers' rights and guards against human trafficking, it imposes a new level of responsibility on businesses to ensure they are not, knowingly or unknowingly, playing a role in such exploitation...

[refers to 7-Eleven, Domino's Pizza & Air New Zealand]

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