Plan of Action against forced labour, people trafficking and slavery

Submissions closed: 16 October 2020, 5pm

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is seeking feedback on the draft Plan of Action against forced labour, people trafficking and slavery.

In 2019, New Zealand ratified the International Labour Organization’s Forced Labour Protocol and committed to take serious and effective action to address forced labour. This includes developing a plan of action against forced labour.  New Zealand already has a Plan of Action to Prevent People Trafficking, however this has been in place since 2009 and is being updated to reflect the changes that have occurred since that time.

Given the close relationship between forced labour, people trafficking and slavery, we have developed a draft Plan of Action that addresses these practices collectively. 

The draft Plan of Action sets out a high-level framework for the actions that agencies will undertake between 2020 and 2025. It details current actions and will be supplemented by an implementation plan detailing the activities which are being undertaken, or will be undertaken, to achieve each action.

The plan is organised under three pillars: Prevention, Protection and Enforcement. Development of effective partnerships, across government agencies and external groups, is critical to achieving the outcomes of the plan across the three pillars.


The actions under the prevention pillar aim to prevent the conditions that enable forced labour, people trafficking and slavery. Here, the proposed focus is on awareness raising and training activity.

There are currently low numbers of prosecutions for offending relating to forced labour, people trafficking and slavery. While this may reflect low levels of such offending, there is also low awareness of these practices and their indicators within New Zealand – including amongst relevant front-line staff as well as the public more widely – and this may lead to offending occurring unnoticed.


The actions under the protection pillar aim to enable victims to be identified and protected, and ensure the range of support available remains fit-for-purpose.

This will ensure the support systems and processes remain fit-for-purpose, and that identified victims are receiving the support they need. This includes providing information on avenues to seek support, and undertaking research and monitoring activity to better understand the problems and risks, and target interventions accordingly.


The actions under the enforcement pillar aim to ensure that the tools to prosecute and penalise those who exploit, or benefit from exploitation, are effectively used.

The proposed priority action in this area is to ensure the operational, legislative and policy settings enable and support a wide range of enforcement activity. This includes progressing the wide-ranging changes announced in July 2020 to address temporary migrant worker exploitation, and considering changes to the Crimes Act 1961 to strengthen provisions for the criminalisation of trafficking in children.

To report exploitation

To report workplace exploitation, contact the MBIE Service Centre on 0800 20 90 20.

If you are aware of, or suspect someone has been trafficked, contact your local Police for help. If it’s an emergency, call 111.

Find your local Police station(external link)

To report a case anonymously: call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or complete an Online Crimestoppers form.

Online Crimestoppers form(external link)

The online form link above takes you to the secure Crimestoppers web form. You and your computer are anonymous. Their call handlers read what you have sent them and will take out any information that might identify you before forwarding it to the relevant authorities in New Zealand.

Last updated: 21 September 2020