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EU Council moves towards forced labour ban

January 30, 2024

The EU Council adopts text for a crucial regulation banning products made with forced labour from the EU market.

The EU Council has adopted text for a mandate for a regulation that prohibits products made with forced labour from the EU market. This regulation will aim to combat forced labour and introduces improvements to the initial proposal.

Key aspects include expanding the regulation to include distance sale products, establishing a single portal for forced labour issues, and enhancing the European Commission’s role in investigating and verifying forced labour cases. These measures are designed to align with international standards and existing EU legislation.

Spearheaded by Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne, this initiative addresses a critical human rights issue, as the International Labour Organization estimates 27.6 million people are trapped in forced labour globally.

The proposed regulation will extend to distance sales products and includes the establishment of a Forced Labour Single Portal, enhancing the role of the European Commission in investigating and proving forced labour use. The proposal is comprehensive, covering risk assessments, investigation protocols, and strict enforcement measures against identified forced labour products, including withdrawal and export bans.

The regulation is not limited to large corporations; SMEs are also accountable, with consideration given to their size and resources. A Union Network against Forced Labour Products is set to coordinate actions across member states, ensuring uniform application and enforcement of the regulation.

The Council’s mandate strengthens the European Commission’s role, particularly in cases of significant Union interest, like cross-border forced labour risks or products impacting the internal market. The Commission will lead pre-investigations in these scenarios, ensuring a unified approach.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : BAN Business EU Council forced labour

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