Thursday 23 February 2017


The Human Trafficking Research Coalition is pleased at the new clampdown on rouge employers who exploit migrants announced by Minister Woodhouse this morning, and believes this is a step in the right direction. 


In December 2016, in depth research, undertaken by Dr Christina Stringer from the University of Auckland Business School, sponsored by the Human Trafficking Research Coalition, on migrant exploitation in New Zealand was published which showed that exploitation was rife in New Zealand, taking place in many of our primary industries.

Eliminating migrant exploitation demands a coordinated, interagency strategy. Punishing employers who exploit workers in New Zealand alone will not stop migrant exploitation. A good next step would be to identify/ ban international companies who recruit to New Zealand. Research shows that the exploitation of a worker generally starts in the host country.


Recommendations from the worker exploitation report outline that the New Zealand government needs to coordinate an interagency coordinated strategy and response to human trafficking and migrant exploitation. The recommendations also outline that MOU's should be drafted between countries where migrants are being recruited from to ensure basic employment law and human rights are upheld. 


The Coalition commends the New Zealand government for taking the issue of migrant exploitation seriously, but urges the government to ensure that any new law or policy is not a stand-alone, but part of an over-arching and well thought out strategy. The Coalition also urges the government to address other recommendations contained in the report.


To read the full report on Worker Exploitation released December 2016:

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Members of the Human Trafficking Research Coalition.