Tongan RSE workers at Moffett orchard in Hastings. NZ. Photo/Kalino Lātū

The NZ Human Rights Commission and Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) are hosting a workshop on the exploitation of Pacific migrants to New Zealand on May 22, in Auckland.

This is in response to the high number of Pacific migrant workers working in Recognised Seasonal Worker schemes and the increasing number of Pacific Peoples being victims of human trafficking and worker exploitation in New Zealand.

Key speakers at workshop include representatives from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s(MBIE) Trafficking in Persons and Pacifica Labour and Skills team; a New Zealand industry body that employs Pacific workers; Pacific migrant workers; and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre.

This workshop aims to bring together key government agencies, unions, Pacific leaders and workers and NGO’s to collaboratively discuss how to improve the working conditions for Pacific Peoples in New Zealand including recruitment from the Pacific to New Zealand.

Part of the discussion will include future collaboration to help address Pacific worker exploitation and human trafficking.

The Human Rights Commission’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Dr Karanina Sumeo says migrant worker exploitation and human trafficking are human rights issues that require urgent collective action.

“Pacific workers are valuable to the New Zealand economy, but their vulnerabilities need to be recognised and addressed,” she says.

“Recruitment agencies and employers must ensure that ethical procurement and hiring practices are embedded within their policies and workplaces to protect workers and prevent human rights abuses in their supply chain.”

Pacific peoples, industry representatives that employ seasonal workers and all people interested in improving the working conditions for Pacific Migrant workers in New Zealand are invited to attend the workshop.

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