PSSI Perspective #27: EU Faces a Momentous Choice on the Forced Labor Ban

Elias Sköld / 9 May 2023

Prague Security Studies Institute welcomes the EU's proposal to ban products associated with forced labor practices but believes the range should be significantly expanded. The Institute advocates for including products and companies from offending nations, specifically China, and calls for a complete ban on corporate offenders from entering or conducting business with EU countries. Additionally, PSSI emphasizes the need to prevent publicly traded companies linked to forced labor from trading securities or raising funds in European capital markets.

To address these concerns, PSSI strongly recommends implementing an investment ban on companies trading or raising capital on European exchanges to prevent financing of forced labor operations and other human rights abuses. The Institute urges the inclusion of a legal prohibition on EU institutions and individuals holding securities of designated forced labor companies. Failure to adopt these measures would be a significant departure from the EU's commitment to defending labor and human rights.

PSSI highlights the research-backed evidence provided by the Coalition for a Prosperous America's Chinese corporate forced labor list, demonstrating the exploitation of forced labor in supply chains of well-known Chinese companies traded publicly. Both Europe and the US have the potential to enact more comprehensive forced labor legislation to address this issue effectively. PSSI intends to continue advocating for strengthened legislative penalties and deterrence-oriented adjustments in Europe and the US to ensure that China, the leading abuser of forced labor globally, faces meaningful sanctions and consequences for its involvement in this modern-day slavery.