At first sight child labour may not appear to be a material issue for Australian companies and investors: Australia has labour laws that prescribe the minimum school-leaving and employment age. Australia also has a rich tradition in worker representation and a trade union movement active in advancing labour rights. However Australia is not an island when purchasing goods and services, and global markets for labour no longer align with national borders.
Today many companies operate through complex global supply chains. The globalisation of business can provide opportunities for economic and social development; however, outsourcing labour without oversight can lead to worker exploitation, particularly as much of the production takes place in countries that are out of reach of Australia’s national employment laws.

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