Sign for Freedom campaign wins award for collaboration

Posted on 16 December 2021

The Council for International Development (CID) has announced the winner of the CID Collaboration Award 2021.

The Collaboration Award recognises and celebrates the importance of effective relationships, partnership, and collaborative thinking within and across the sector to tackle global challenges.

The winner

Congratulations to Trade Aid and World Vision, for their important and inspiring campaign: Sign for Freedom.


About the campaign

In 2020, WVNZ and Trade Aid partnered on a public campaign urging the New Zealand government to enact modern slavery legislation. Currently, in New Zealand, entities don’t have to take any steps to ensure their products haven’t been made by people in modern slavery or undertake any human rights due diligence or reporting on their supply chains.  Many jurisdictions have introduced such legislation or have legislation in progress.

Trade Aid and World Vision considered that in order to encourage political appetite, support for this legislation would need to be demonstrated from two key stakeholders: 1. Business and 2. the public. Trade Aid and World Vision also considered who in Government would hold the relevant portfolio to progress this work; The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Minister Michael Wood.

In order to show that New Zealand businesses were behind the initiative, World Vision and Trade Aid (in collaboration with Walk Free) facilitated an open letter from the business community. This was subsequently presented to Minister Wood on behalf of the 100+ businesses who signed the letter in support of progressing the work required for a Modern Slavery Act.

In order to demonstrate public support, together, Trade Aid and World Vision organised a public petition calling for Government action and worked to get as many signatures as possible. They engaged a wide variety of stakeholders from the business community, other NGOs, faith groups, and youth organisations, to empower each one to share the petition through their channels and encourage their audiences to sign the petition too. 

World Vision and Trade Aid planned and executed the handover event delivering the petition to parliament, and on the 29th of June, handed the Sign for Freedom petition to Minister Michael Wood with more than 37,000 signatures. The petition is currently before the Petitions Committee.

Minister Wood said:

“There are very few campaigns that I have seen or been involved with, in about 20 years of being involved in politics that have had such a wide collection of the community and different interests in our society as the one I have seen play out through this campaign. I know that takes work so I just want to acknowledge all of you for the roles you are playing and to let you know that collective campaigning has a real strength when you bring it to our Parliament.”

Trade Aid and World Vision would like to acknowledge and thank the many organisations that supported the campaign and that do incredible work to combat modern slavery, including: CID, The Salvation Army, Tearfund, Oxfam, Caritas and Hagar. The efforts, support and collaboration from these partners were truly appreciated, as is their ongoing work in Aotearoa.