True Prevalence of Child Labour in Canada: Do You Think Bill S 211 Will Have an Impact on Your Supply Chain

The world of retail is growing at lightning speed, and in fact, the retail market is all set to grow at a pace of 4% from 2022 to 2027. But among these is an ethical concern behind the supply chains that need to be addressed. Recently, Canada has taken an important step in the direction of child labour in the supply chain practices. Bill S-211 is a legislative initiative to address the prevalence of child labour and hold retailers accountable for their misguided supply chain practices.

Challenges and Opportunities

World Vision Canada confirms that Canadian companies ensure their vendors and suppliers overseas do not use exploitive child labour. However, to completely eradicate child labour practices from the market, the new Bill S-211, also known as the Modern Slavery Act, will take a range of measures. As per the legislation, companies earning over CAD $40 million in gross worldwide revenue and $20 million in assets or with an average of more than 250 employees are required to disclose their efforts publicly. This will help evaluate and manage child labour risks in their operations and supply chains.

The bill proposes the creation of an online registry where companies will have to report on their due diligence measures. This will enable customers to make informed decisions, and it will also highlight the companies that are actively working to eliminate child labour from their supply chain practices.

For retailers, Bill S-211 would bring a shift in the way they conduct their business. Retailers would now require companies to monitor and disclose their supply chain practices, especially those who use a conventional model of using child labour as a cheaper production alternative. Now, companies will have to prioritize human rights over profit margins and consider the ethical implications of their decisions.

The Cost of Compliance

We all know that Canada has an increment in mortgages and food prices this following year. Companies already employing child labour practices will find it hard to maintain their products on the shelves due to the disruptions in their supply chain system. This will result in increased due diligence and audits. 


According to a study, more than half (78%) of consumers are willing to spend money on products that are ethically sourced. This means the following bill that passed on January 1st can be a blessing and a curse for companies. On the other hand, failure to comply with Bill S-211 could result in reputational damage to consumer trust and loyalty and fines exceeding up to $250,000.

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