Aldi. Contributed

Aldi backs new laws to stamp out slavery in supply chains

RETAIL giant Aldi is working with its suppliers in the wake of new laws compelling businesses with turnovers of more than $100 million to report what they are doing to stamp out slavery in supply chains.

The modern slavery laws passed by the federal parliament on Thursday will give the government the ability to send companies a "please explain" if they fail to report.

But companies won't face any penalties for shirking responsibility or false reporting.

Instead, civil penalties will be examined in a review of the scheme which will occur three years after the laws come into place.

Daniel Baker, Aldi Australia's corporate responsibility director, said the laws were a huge step in the right direction.

"There is no place for modern slavery in our business or our extended supply chains," he said.

Aldi has entered into a partnership with the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility to train suppliers in child labour prevention and remediation.

As well, it is working with the global Stronger Together initiative, which helps companies to deter, detect and deal with cases of forced labour, labour trafficking and other labour exploitation.

The Human Rights Law Centre's Keren Adams said it was disappointing there were no penalties for companies that fail to report or provide misleading information, and an independent commissioner to oversee the regime.

"Without these crucial ingredients, it's hard to see how the new law will compel the worst players to lift their game," she said.

More than 40 million people worldwide are believed to be victims of modern slavery, including 4300 Australians.

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