Consumers are often unaware that the food they eat or the clothes they buy may have been produced by people working under conditions of severe labour exploitation. A new report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows that while the EU has legislation prohibiting certain forms of severe labour exploitation, workers moving within or migrating to the EU are at risk of becoming victims.
"The exploitation of workers who have been forced by their economic and social circumstances to agree to substandard working conditions is unacceptable," said FRA interim Director Constantinos Manolopoulos. "We are talking here about an endemic problem that we must take urgent action to end. EU Member States need to make a greater effort to promote a climate of zero tolerance for severe forms of labour exploitation and take steps to monitor the situation more effectively and sanction perpetrators."