Groundbreaking legislation to combat forced labour worldwide

Author: Hugues Stéphane Beaudouin




Renew Europe welcomes today’s vote on the new legislation banning products produced using forced labour. This will assure consumers that the products they buy are produced in compliance with international labour conventions.

Worldwide, 28 million people are in forced labour, according to the International Labour Organization. It was therefore a necessity for the European Union to set a solid framework to address this issue.

The new legislation establishes a procedure that will launch an investigation conducted by the competent authorities to check if suspected items have been produced using forced labour. In case a product was manufactured using forced labour, it may not be placed in the EU or exported from the EU. If the product is already on the market, the economic operator will be required to remove it from the market. Sanctions will be imposed if a company fails to comply.

All businesses, including SMEs, will be affected to ensure that this legislation is widely and effectively applied. The text covers all items made accessible on the EU market, including products manufactured in the EU and imported goods, independent of sector or industry.

The annual profit generated by forced labour totals 236 billion, a staggering sum.
It's alarming how much profit is derived from such exploitation. That's why Renew Europe found it important to make an effort to enable recovery and compensation for victims. The forced labour ban aims to eliminate this detrimental and unethical incentive.

Renew MEP Samira Rafaela (D66, Netherlands), EP co-rapporteur said :

“Today marks a historic day! We have voted for the Forced Labour Ban Regulation, a groundbreaking legislation to combat forced labour worldwide. This regulation fosters EU and international cooperation, shifts power from exploiters to consumers and employees, and offers possibilities for remedy for victims. It also transforms trade policies into a greener and fairer future.”

Renew MEP Svenja Hahn (FDP, Germany), shadow rapporteur for IMCO, said :

“The regulation must help to combat modern slavery and ensure fair competition by eradicating the EU internal market as a market for products made from forced labour. The implementation will show how practical the law will be.”


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