The European Union Should Not Ignore the Female Face of Forced Labour

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Abstract

This article discusses the European Commission’s proposal for a regulation to ban products from forced labour in the European Union (EU) of September 2022. It argues that the Commission failed to conduct an impact assessment which could have addressed gender dimensions. This was omitted because the proposal would be ‘urgent’. While not atypical—the EU has often turned a blind eye to women’s issues—the gender-blind nature of the proposal is unfortunate. At least three indicators of forced labour that are used by the International Labour Organization—including the two most common indicators vulnerability and wage non-payment—have a differentiated impact on women. Drawing from the three-step framework in the Gender Guidance of the United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights, this article suggests a way to start discussions to include a gender perspective in the regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalOslo Law Review
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is funded by Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS) chargée de recherches grant Nr FC38129 at Université Libre de Bruxelles and Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) postdoc grant Nr 12Z8921N at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. This article also contributes to the research theme ‘Institutions for Conflict Resolution’ of Leiden University, which has been sponsored by the Dutch legal sector plan. I thank the editors of Oslo Law Review and the reviewers of the initial version of the article. Any remaining errors are my sole responsibility.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 University of Oslo. All rights reserved.

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