In a joint letter industriAll Europe alongside 76 civil society organisations, trade unions, investors, businesses, multi-stakeholders’ initiatives and industry bodies call on Members of the European Parliament to vote YES to banning products made using forced labour from entering the European Union.

The ILO’s latest report suggests a staggering $63.9 billion in illegal profits are generated globally from forced labour exploitation per year, with an average of $3687 per victim. Forced labour is not limited to distant corners of the world, nor is it an exception. The 2022 Global Estimates on Modern Slavery (GEMS) have shown an increase of 2,7 million between 2016 and 2021, in the number of workers experiencing forced labour, mostly in the private sector. It is also present inside the EU and thus directly affects European citizens.

The European Commission proposed an EU Regulation on Forced Labour and industriAll Europe and its affiliates have been working with CSOs asking both MEPs and EU Member States to make improvements to the original proposal including on remediation for workers impacted by forced labour and specific action on state-imposed forced labour.

"Today, millions of workers across the globe are subjected to forced labour. This is why we need strong EU legislation that punishes abusive employers, as well as protecting and remediating workers. Time is ticking ahead of the EU elections, and European trade unions call on Members of the European Parliament to improve the lives of millions of workers across the globe.’’ Says Judith Kirton-Darling, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary.

The final text which will be voted on tomorrow, includes improvements after a long EU advocacy campaign by trade unions and civil society organisations, and industriAll Europe calls on Members of the European Parliament to unite behind this final proposal which rightfully aims to ban products made from forced labour on the EU market. The EU must send a clear signal that goods stemming from exploitation, regardless of their origin, have no place on the EU single market, and that the EU will not stand idly by, while individuals profit from the illegal exploitation of human beings. IndustriAll Europe continues to fight for good industrial jobs for all workers, regardless of where they are based.

“The time to end forced labour is now and members of the European Parliament must stand up for workers everywhere and vote for this legislation through today. Workers across the world are waiting .’’Added Judith Kirton-Darling.