The European Commission has recently presented to the European Parliament and Member States a policy document to promote decent work across all sectors in domestic markets, in third countries and in global supply chains. The proposal also addresses the elimination of child labour and forced labour, proposing a new legislative instrument to effectively ban products made by forced labour from entering the EU market.

The Commission proposal is based on four areas of action to further strengthen its role as responsible leader in the world of work and champion of workers’ rights.

  • EU policies beyond its borders – setting standards in corporate responsibility and transparency. These include a proposal for a directive on forced labour, guidelines on socially sustainable public procurement, and sectoral polices on food, minerals and textiles.
  • EU bilateral and regional relations – promoting the EU trade policy, respect for labour rights and decent work in third countries.
  • EU in international fora – supporting UN, ILO and WTO instruments on decent work.
  • EU and stakeholders – supporting social partners, civil society and global stakeholders to ensure respect of labour rights, safe and enabling working environments, occupational safety and health.

The EU continues to support the universal concept of decent work under the mutually reinforcing objectives of productive employment, standards and rights at work, social protection and social dialogue, with gender equality and non-discrimination at their basis.