Examine Blockchain for Ways to Stop Forced-Labor Goods, Australian Committee Says

An Australian senate committee says the government should investigate blockchain technology among other methods to help curb the country’s importation of forced-labor goods.

In a Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Committee report on Thursday, several recommendations were put forth intended to sharpen the focus of the country’s customs bill.

The committee, charged with examining the potency of Australia’s Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced By Uyghur Forced Labour) Bill 2020, has made 14 recommendations ranging from broadening the legislation to empowering the country’s border force.

The report also underscores the importance of investigating technologies to track the provenance of goods along the supply chain as a means for eliminating the imports produced by way of slave labor.

Blockchain, along with isotopic labeling, and microbiome tracing could “empower” companies and governments to more “efficiently” and “effectively” trace their supply chains, according to the report.

The Customs Amendment, put forward in December by Independent Senator Rex Patrick, seeks to amend the country’s Customs Act 1901. If passed, amendments to the bill would prohibit the import of “slave labor” goods arriving from Xinjiang province and other parts of China.

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