Trade Law

Provisions in trade agreements protect against forced and child labour. While these provisions apply to states, businesses will be affected as states seek to ensure their own compliance.

The Canada-US-Mexico Agreement, Article 23.6 includes a section on Forced or Compulsory Labor which says “… each Party shall prohibit the importation of goods into its territory from other sources produced in whole or in part by forced or compulsory labor, including forced or compulsory child labor.” Corresponding amendments to Canada’s Customs Tariff Act and the Schedule, effective July 1, 2020, prohibit the importation of goods into Canada that are mined, manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour.

Other trade agreements to which Canada is a state party include prohibitions on forced labour, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

Canada and Colombia are party to the Agreement concerning Annual Reports on Human Rights and Free Trade, entered into on May 27, 2010. This agreement requires that Canada and Colombia each produce an annual report on the effect on human rights in both countries of measures taken under the Canada-Columbia Free Trade Agreement.

The US Department of State maintains a widely recognized list of goods produced by child or forced labour.