The proposed Regulation presented by the Commission in September 2022 aims to prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market. According to recent ILO estimates around 28 million people worldwide work in forced labour, including more than 3 million children.

There is an urgent need for action from the point of view of AK. However, in order to effectively combat forced labour, improvements to the Commission proposal are necessary. Amongst others, the scope of the Regulation must be extended and freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining should also be covered. Furthermore, the burden of proof should be on the economic operator, not the authority. Affected workers must also receive remediation, as well as trade unions and NGOs must be better involved.

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Sarah Bruckner

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Alice Wagner (Brussels office)

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