Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis on behalf of the European Commission
Promoting a zero-tolerance policy on child labour and the eradication of forced labour are priorities of EU human rights policy. The Commission advances the implementation of global standards on child labour and forced labour at international level through various measures and policies outlined in the Commission’s Communication on Decent Work Worldwide.
Those include, for example, engagement with partner countries under trade instruments, development cooperation measures, dedicated guidance for companies and initiatives on supply chain sustainability such as the EU Comprehensive Strategy on the Rights of the Child, which promotes EU supply chains free of child labour, and the proposal for a directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence, which proposes mandatory human rights due diligence for companies.
The Commission’s proposal for a regulation on Forced Labour aims to further contribute to promoting the implementation of international standards at global level by introducing a prohibition to place on the EU market products made with forced labour, including forced child labour.
Under the Commission’s proposal, national competent authorities would investigate specific products and impose bans on those found in breach of the prohibition, and the Commission would support the implementation by setting up support tools such as a network of competent authorities, implementation guidelines and a public database of forced labour risks in specific geographic areas or with respect to specific products.
Under the proposed system, Member States’ c ustoms authorities would identify and stop banned products at EU borders based on the decisions of the competent authorities and information from the economic operators.
-  EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, https://www.eeas.europa.eu/sites/default/files/eu_action_plan_on_human_rights_and_democracy_2020-2024.pdf
-  Communication on decent work worldwide for a global just transition and a sustainable recovery, COM(2022 66 final.
-  Generalised Scheme of Preferences, Trade and Sustainable Development chapters in EU trade agreements.
-  CLEAR Cotton, https://www.ilo.org/ipec/projects/global/clearcotton/lang--en/index.htm, Sustainable Cocoa, https://international-partnerships.ec.europa.eu/news-and-events/news/commission-launches-initiative-more-sustainable-cocoa-production-2020-09-22_en
-  Communication on EU strategy on the rights of the child, COM/2021/142 final.
-  Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937, COM/2022/71 final.
-  Proposal for a regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labour on the Union market, COM(2022) 453 final.