In Le Monde, the article Une partie de l’industrie solaire tente d’affaiblir le règlement européen destiné à bannir les produits liés au travail force exposes that parts of the European solar industry is lobbying to undermine the long awaited European legislation against forced labour.
We at ESMC would like to emphasize that such a position is extremely destructive and completely against our position on the industry’s social responsibility. Forced labour and other breaches to human rights should have no place in the solar industry value chain. As outlined in the ESMC position paper on forced labour it is clear that we would like an even stronger legislation than proposed by the EU, not weaker.
Le Monde discloses that the association Solar Power Europe has taken measures to weaken several important segments of the draft proposal. At ESMC, we are disheartened to learn that such values are associated with our industry. We expect our colleagues from Solar Power Europe to make their position clear; don’t you want a robust ban on all forced labour products?
The ESMC position is however clear (please read our position paper and our latest letter to the member states). We unequivocally oppose all forms of forced labour. We support the European Parliament’s strengthened position with a reversed burden of proof onto companies instead of authorities. The regulation must encompass all forms of forced labour, including the state imposed. We would like to see an earlier enforcement of the legislation than proposed from the EU institutions. Every day without a strong regulation against forced labour will prolong the suffering of workers and pose a threat to European manufacturing companies.