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In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, 18 faith leaders said Australia should follow Britain's lead in getting companies to disclose steps they have taken to clean up their supply chains under its Modern Slavery Act, passed last year.
"Every person deserves to live a life of freedom," Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier said in the letter signed by leaders of the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish faiths. "The eradication of modern slavery needs to be a national priority."
Nearly 46 million people globally live as slaves, forced to work, sold for sex, trapped in debt bondage or born into servitude, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index by Australia-based rights group Walk Free Foundation.
It estimates that Australia is home to 4,300 victims of forced labor, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude but has identified the country as one of the most pro-active in tackling modern slavery.
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