Towards the prohibition of products resulting from forced labor in Europe?

The European Commission will propose that the sale of products resulting from forced labor be banned in the European Union, its president Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday. This could relate to Chinese production involving the Uyghur Muslim minority.

“Twenty-five million people around the world are threatened or forced into forced labor. We will never accept that they are forced to manufacture products so that these products are then offered for sale here in Europe ”, declared the President of the Commission during her annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“Human rights are not for sale at any price”

“We will therefore propose to ban products from our market that have been produced through forced labor. Human rights are not for sale at any price, ”she added. If the head of the European executive did not mention any specific country, the French MEP Raphaël Glucksmann (S & D, left) was delighted on Twitter that Ms. von der Leyen “promised this morning to ban products from the slavery of the Uyghurs of the European market ”. “The multinationals will do everything to block this measure. Let’s mobilize! “, he added.

Beijing is accused by Western countries of massively interning members of this predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking community in Xinjiang (western China) in vast labor camps, which China claims to be only vocational training centers. Many factories, especially textiles, are located in this region, and supply, according to experts and NGOs, multinational companies. In addition, concerning China, Ursula von der Leyen, in her speech, also put pressure on Beijing to “show the same determination” to achieve its “encouraging” objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. than to define them.

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The President of the European Commission also wanted the EU to be “more present and more active in the Indo-Pacific region” and to rethink its investment strategy there. “It does not make sense that Europe builds a perfect road between a copper mine under Chinese ownership and a port also under Chinese ownership”, she stressed, calling instead for “quality investments, connecting goods, people and services around the world ”.

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