The European Commission is about to unveil its proposal for an EU-wide ban on all products made using forced labour.
The plans, on account of be announced on Wednesday, have been in preparation for one yr now, with data from the United Nations (UN) demonstrating how alarming the issue is becoming worldwide.
In accordance with a report released this week by two UN agencies, forced labour affects 27.6% million people, with children making up 3.3 million of this total.
Despite the EU’s insistence that it will not be directly targeting China, which faces allegations of forced labour against Uyghur Muslims within the country’s western-Xinjiang province, Brussels’ latest proposals will inevitably hit Beijing.
On Monday, on the European Parliament in Strasbourg, the Greens–European Free Alliance invited Uyghur activist and President of the European Uyghur Institute, Dilnur Reyhan, to talk to the press, where she highlighted the areas where China uses forced labour.
“We all know what the commercial sectors are – the textile sector, high-tech sector and telecommunications, especially,” Reyhan said.
The European Parliament is asking for an instrument much like those utilized in Canada and the USA.
When there may be considerable suspicion of forced labour in a certain location, corporations must prove that they don’t use it of their production and provide chains.
Nevertheless, Yannick Jadot MEP told Euronews that this approach is simply too cautious to be effective.
“The proposal from the European Commission is that the countries’ authorities should investigate after they’re alerted by the associations, experts or certain corporations. So, there may be the danger of getting a not very efficient system,” he said.
Once the Commission publishes its plans, the European Parliament and EU countries will then have to provide their approval before the foundations can come into effect.