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11 Mär 2024

Anti-Slavery International, Environmental Justice Foundation, BHRRC & 34 others

EU: 37 CSOs and trade unions call on member states to back agreement on forced labour ban

Joint Statement: Call on EU governments to support the EU’s Regulation to prohibit forced labour products

In light of the EU co-legislators reaching an agreement on the Regulation prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market, following the conclusion of trilogue negotiations on 5 March, the undersigned Civil Society Organisations and Trade Unions call on the governments of EU Member States to support the agreed text, ensuring the legislation enters into force without delay.

The Regulation has substantial potential to address forced labour, a crime that impacts 27.6 million people globally. Being the first of its kind in a European context, the law could close the EU’s Single Market to products tainted with forced labour. It would prevent EU consumers from buying products linked with forced labour by ensuring these products cannot be sold on the EU market, and would protect companies from the unfair trading practices of competitors who exploit their workers.

Unfortunately, forced labour is not limited to distant corners of the world, nor is it an exception. It is also present inside the EU, and thus directly affects European citizens. The Regulation rightfully bans products made from forced labour inside and outside the European Union, sending a clear signal that goods stemming from exploitation, regardless of their origin, have no place on the EU single market.

We call on the EU 27 Member States to now unite behind this law by adopting it in COREPER, which would pave the way for its swift adoption in the European Parliament and entry into force.

[full list of signatories attached]