The Vatican has promised to "slave-proof" its supply chains, with a commitment to guaranteeing that no forced labour is used.
Cardinal George Pell, the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, announced the Vatican's commitment at a meeting of The Global Foundation, an Australian organisation that brings together business and government leaders.
"I am pleased to confirm that the Vatican itself will commit to slavery-proofing its own supply chains and I hope that today's announcement will serve as encouragement for others to follow suit," Pell told the gathering on Sunday.
At the same meeting, the Consumer Goods Forum – a collection of major companies such as Carrefour, Nestlé and Hershey's – committed to "strive to eradicate forced labour from our value chains."
Pell admitted that because the Vatican is so small, its contribution to the development of slave-proof supply chains was unable to compare to the impact the Consumer Goods Forum could hope to have.
The Vatican is just 44 hectares in size and has a total population of 842. Members of the Consumer Goods Forum are involved in annual deals worth 2.7 trillion Euros and employ 10 million workers globally.