Rule changes to help stamp out slavery crimes

WITH new laws to battle people trafficking to come into effect next year, the Federal Government plans to change the national procurement rules to help stamp out the slavery crimes.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a new anti-slavery initiative to change the government's policies to help prevent slavery or people smuggling operations in Australia.

The new initiative will change internal government processes and training to improve reporting of breaches of policy as well as behaviour.

Ms Gillard's announcement came on International Women's Day, and one day after Governor-General Quentin Bryce gave Royal Assent to new anti-slavery laws.

Those laws have now created offences for forced marriage and harbouring a victim, as well as debt bondage offences and increases to payments to victims.

Ms Gillard said the new anti-slavery initiative would also help prevent any companies providing goods or services to the Commonwealth are tainted by people trafficking.

"While there's no evidence this is the case at the moment, we know slavery or people-trafficking are becoming a greater issue as the global economy becomes more interlinked," she said.

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