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Report finds migrant worker exploitation

14 December 2016

A report released by the Human Trafficking Research Coalition has found evidence of exploitation of migrant workers and human trafficking in New Zealand.

The report, Worker Exploitation in New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape, draws on semi-structured interviews of 105 (predominately) migrant workers in New Zealand by Auckland University researcher Dr Christina Stringer, and a desk review of secondary sources on worker exploitation.

The types of exploitation experienced included excessive working hours without breaks, non-payment or underpayment of wages, deduction of income taxes from wages but without being paid to Inland Revenue, non-payment of holiday pay, no formal employment contracts, and degrading treatment of workers.

Evidence of exploitation was found in a number of industry sectors, particularly construction, dairy, horticulture, hospitality, international education, and prostitution.

The report makes 10 recommendations, one of which is development of a curriculum covering basic New Zealand employment and immigration law for new migrant workers in New Zealand. It says this could be developed in conjunction with an organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau which is often front-fotting migrant work related issues.

Last updated on the 16th September 2019