Australia: Labor vows to stamp out slavery in supply chains
Author: Gareth Hutchens, The Guardian (UK), Published on: 6 June 2017
Bill Shorten has promised to introduce legislation to prevent slave labour being used in the global supply chains of Australian businesses if Labor wins the next election. Labor would require Australia's biggest companies to produce annual reports on the steps they are taking to stamp out slavery in their supply chains, he said. It would also establish an anti-slavery commissioner to help victims of slavery in Australia, and to fight slavery overseas...In February the attorney general, George Brandis, asked a Senate committee to consider establishing such legislation. The committee has received 90 submissions, including from Nestle Australia, Adidas, Rio Tinto and the Human Rights Council of Australia. Similar legislation is in place in the UK, France, California and the European Union. In April the chairman of Fortescue Metals, Andrew Forrest, admitted the mining company had found slavery in at least 12 of its suppliers. Labor's justice spokeswoman, Clare O'Neil, said the party's plan would be tougher than the UK legislation because Australian companies might be financially penalised if they didn't comply, and named in parliament...The list of the companies would be made public, with a central repository of statements.