EU steps up fight against exploitation and forced labour

Negotiators from the European Parliament and EU member states have agreed new rules to hold large companies accountable for negative social or environmental impacts in their production chains. This will make it harder for companies in the EU to profit from exploitation or forced labour.

Companies will have to monitor and address issues such as child labour, slavery and exploitation in their global supply chains. They can also be fined or taken to court if, for example, human rights abuses are found.

The agreement also focuses on environmental exploitation, such as pollution and loss of biodiversity. Companies will be forced to ensure that their business model and strategy are compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius.

The agreement covers European companies with more than 500 employees and a turnover of at least 150 million euros. It also applies to non-EU companies with a turnover in the EU of at least 300 million euros.

The deal was announced by negotiators on Thursday morning. It still has to be approved by the European Parliament and EU member states, but that is usually a formality.



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