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24 Apr 2024

Anti-Slavery International

Groundbreaking law to eradicate forced labour from supply chains approved in the EU today

Parliamentarians in the EU today voted in favour of a historic law requiring companies to investigate and eradicate forced labour in their supply chains. This Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) will impact workers globally and send a powerful message that the EU is taking a strong stand against forced labour. The Directive was approved with 374 votes against 235 and 19 abstentions.

Today’s EU Parliament vote sets in motion a law that will have a positive impact on the 17.3 million people estimated to be in forced labour in the private sector, and the estimated 3.9 million people exploited in state-imposed forced labour. The law, which follows yesterday’s vote on the complementary Forced Labour Regulation, compels companies to conduct effective human rights and environmental due diligence on their supply chains. ..

Anti-Slavery International applauds the progress of this important law and congratulates all of the politicians, business advocates, workers and members of civil society who have made this law possible. However, we have been truly disappointed by the turbulence caused by Germany, Italy, France and other member states in the final stages of the political process. The last-minute political and business wrangling watered down the law, and hampered the potential impact of this important milestone, sending a sinister message to workers around the world.

Despite the watering down of the law, it can still have a tremendous impact on workers around the world. Designed to complement the recently agreed-upon Forced Labour Regulation, the Directive shows countries worldwide that true progress to ending forced labour in supply chains is achievable...