The International Institute for Sustainable Development reports on a discussion paper that examines an EU mechanism against forced labour and slavery. It allow the EU to immediately stop goods at the EU border when there is reasonable suspicion they have been produced with forced labor.
The paper’s introduction notes that around 25 million people are estimated to be in forced labour globally, and products made by them often end up in the European market, meaning that the EU “unwillingly consume[s] and contribute[s] to this exploitation.”
Although the EU is developing a proposal for a law on corporate human rights and environmental due diligence, this law will not allow for restrictions or bans on products linked to forced labour. The paper aims to examine opportunities to complement the upcoming EU due diligence law with an import ban instrument.
The paper called, Towards an Import Ban on Forced Labor and Modern Slavery analyses four options for introducing an import ban: EU foreign policy, such as the new EU Human Rights Sanctions mechanism; amending EU Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other trade mechanisms; a new internal market mechanism; or a new instrument with a legal trade basis.