[Anglican Taonga] Anglicans in New Zealand are being given the opportunity to investigate the ways in which trafficking and exploitation is infiltrating Kiwi life and to learn how those hidden scourges are best headed off. Wellington’s Cathedral of St Paul is about to host ‘Tip of the Iceberg’ - a two-day conference which aims to shine a light on human trafficking and labour exploitation.
‘Tip of the Iceberg’ will examine the hidden reach of trafficking and labour exploitation into New Zealand life – through industry, agriculture and fishing, business and buying patterns – and look at ways that trafficking and exploitation can be disrupted.
“At our end of the globe,” says Bishop Justin Duckworth, “it’s easy to think we are immune. Sadly, that’s not the case – and this conference is a welcome opportunity to educate ourselves about these important issues.”
The keynote speakers include Andrew Wallis, the CEO of Unseen, a charity whose mission is to work towards a world without slavery – and who was one of the authors of ‘It Happens Here’ a report which was the catalyst for the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.
The other keynote speakers include Justine Currell, the Executive Director of Unseen, and Dr Christine Stringer, an associate of Management and International Business at the University of Auckland.
Last year Dr Stringer published the results of her two-year research project into worker exploitation in New Zealand. She found employment law being flouted and migrant workers being exploited. They didn’t speak up for fear of jeopardising their chances for permanent residency, or because they were either being coerced or lied to by their employers.
The conference will also hear about ethical supply chain sourcing from senior managers at The Warehouse, Trade Aid New Zealand and Tearfund. The conference will be held in the cathedral on July 26 and 27 and is being jointly hosted by the Diocese of Wellington, the US Embassy and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.