Severe labour exploitation in the EU Background

The official launch of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) report will take place on 2 June 2015 at the Council of the European Union in Brussels.

On the occasion of this launch, the FRA will be organising a conference bringing together high-level policymakers from the European Parliament, European Commission, Council of the European Union and EU Member States. The conference will be hosted by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and organised by the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, in cooperation with the FRA.

Based on the findings of previous FRA reports both on irregular migrants employed in domestic work and victim support services in EU Member States, the FRA identified a need for research to be conducted on severe forms of labour exploitation in the EU, with a focus on the exploitation of workers moving within or to the European Union. FRA has since examined the factors which allow or prevent victims of severe forms of labour exploitation to access criminal justice. The research looked into:

  • Access to justice for workers who have become victims of labour exploitation (bringing offenders to justice and measures to ensure redress and support for victims).
  • Risk factors contributing to the severe labour exploitation of workers and what can be done to reduce such risks.
  • The forms and frequency of severe labour exploitation and which bodies deal with such incidents.

These and other challenges will be at the centre of discussions during the event. The event will be divided into two panel debates, which will illustrate the current situation of the victims of labour exploitation and the policy-making aspects on EU and national level.

The launch conference will bring together about 250 decision makers and practitioners from across the EU, among them representatives of European Union institutions, EU Member States ministries and parliaments, national human rights institutions, NGOs and academia. European level NGOs as well as national civil society organisations, labour inspectorates, law enforcement officials and trade unions are also invited.