25th September 2023 |
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is seeking the views of stakeholders on the EU proposal for prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market (EU) 2022/2069.
Definition of forced labour
All work or service which is exacted from any person under the menace of any penalty and for which the said person has not offered himself voluntarily. (Article 2.1 ILO Forced Labour Convention).
Planned scope for this new legislative instrument
The legislative proposal will effectively prohibit the placing on the EU market of products made with forced labour, as well as their export from the EU. The proposal covers all products, namely those made in the EU for domestic consumption and exports, and imported goods, without targeting specific companies or industries.
Why this initiative is needed
Forced labour, including forced child labour, continues to be a major global issue, with the ILO estimating the global number of people in a situation of forced labour at around 27.6 million. Combating forced labour and promoting responsible business practices are priorities of the EU's agenda on business and human rights.
How the proposed regulation will be enforced
The enforcement of the regulation will be:
- carried out by member states’ competent authorities
- facilitated by the involvement of customs authorities to identify and stop products at EU borders
- based on risk-based approach drawing from independent and verifiable sources of information, such as the International Labour Organization
- supported by a dedicated coordination network for member states
- civil society can submit information for investigation by competent authorities
- guidelines issued by the Commission will facilitate the implementation of the prohibition both by business and by competent authorities of member states
Views from stakeholders and interested parties are requested no later than 5pm on Friday, 20 October 2023.
Submissions should be marked ‘Proposed Forced Labour Regulation’ and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update November 2023: Submissions to the public consultation are available to download below.