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Goods produced with the help of forced labor must no longer be sold in the European Union.

The European Commission made such a proposal today, DPA reported.

This proposal will make a real difference in tackling modern slavery, which affects millions of people around the world, European Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said in a special statement, BTA reports.

The Commission estimates that around 27.6 million people are engaged in forced labor worldwide.

The DPA states that the ban will not apply to the service sector.

Our ban will apply to domestic products as well as exports and imports, said Dombrovskis.

The draft legislation does not target specific regions or sectors, but textiles, mining and agriculture are particularly at risk, the European Commission said in a press release.

UN: 50 million people worldwide lived in 'modern slavery' last year

The UN human rights office recently accused China of possible crimes against humanity against the Uyghurs, an ethnic minority living mainly in China's Xinjiang region.

The EU imported goods worth €472.8 billion ($476.3 billion) from China in 2021.

Under the ban, national authorities would have to launch an investigation into products suspected of being produced with the help of forced labour.

If the suspicion is confirmed, the product will not be able to be sold in the block and will have to be removed from store shelves.

The European Commission plans to create a platform to collect information on individual products.

China did not like the assessment of the UN human rights commissioner

Member states, as well as the European Parliament, still need to approve the proposal before it can enter into force after a 24-month transition period.

European Union

forced labor