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Parliamentary questions
PDF 103kWORD 17k
25 May 2016
Question for written answer P-004172-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Kati Piri (S&D) , Agnes Jongerius (S&D)

 Subject:  North Korean workers in the EU
 Answer in writing 

A recent study by the University of Leiden (Netherlands) on North Korean forced labour in Europe, as well as the documentary on the same topic broadcast on 21 May 2016 by the web magazine Vice.com, point to strong evidence that EU-level measures are needed to prevent this form of modern slavery taking place within Union territory. The study reveals that a total of more than EUR 70 million in EU funds intended to support Polish regions and develop local work opportunities has ended up with companies that are deliberately hiring North Korean workers and are violating EC law on working time and health and safety at work. In addition, exploited North Koreans may be moving between Member States.

— Is the Commission aware that companies benefiting from EU funds are involved in the exploitation of North Korean workers and the bypassing of UN sanctions against North Korea?

In light of the recent evidence:
Is the Commission planning to take action at EU level to identify the Member States and companies which are hiring North Korean workers?
Is the Commission planning to set up a systematic control mechanism concerning the work contracts offered to North Korean workers and the implementation thereof, as well as their working conditions?
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