The Vatican has committed to "slavery proofing" its supply chains and wants others to follow suit.
Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Vatican secretariat for the economy, said Pope Francis and other religious leaders had been cooperating closely in their efforts to eradicate forced labour.
Speaking in Rome at a meeting of the Global Foundation, an Australian organisation which brings together business and government leaders, the cardinal commended the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) for announcing a resolution to fight forced labour issues throughout global supply chains.
The CGF is an industry network of 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries. Its member companies have combined sales of €2.5trn (£1.9trn) and employ nearly 10m people, with a further 90m related jobs estimated along the value chain.
Cardinal Pell said it was important to comprehend the scale of the CGF’s decision and congratulated the forum on a “giant step forward”.
He added: “It is against this backdrop that I am pleased to confirm that the Vatican itself will commit to slavery-proofing its own supply chains and I hope that today’s announcements will serve as encouragement for others to follow suit.”