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MEPs to vote on banning products made using forced labour

The European Parliament is expected to approve new measures to ban the sale, import and export of goods made using forced labour.

Products found to be in breach of the new regulations will be withdrawn from the EU market.

According to the United Nation’s International Labour Organisation, almost 28 million people are subjected to forced labour, including more than three million children.

Under new measures set to be passed later today, member states, or the European Commission, would have the power to investigate such abuses, and remove products made through forced labour from the EU market.

Once removed, the products will be donated, recycled or destroyed.

Separately, MEPs are also expected to approve a Right to Repair directive to improve sustainability.

The proposed law would give consumers the right to request a repair for goods that are technically repairable under EU law.

It would also ban the use of hardware and software practices that obstruct repairs.

MEPs will also vote on legislation to reduce the amount of microplastics released into the environment.

Deirdre Clune, of the European People’s Party, a negotiator on the file, told the parliament that the proposed law was “particularly timely given that millions of plastic pellets were washed up on the coast of Spain’s northwestern Galicia region in January of this year”.

This afternoon will see a vote on a controversial piece of legislation, to change EU fiscal rules, which would seek to reduce debt of member states after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Green MEP Ciarán Cuffe has warned that the new EU fiscal rules, if approved, would be detrimental to the bloc’s future competitiveness and ability to meet its climate goals.

“Europe needs investment, not austerity, to meet our shared goals. Failing to properly finance the green transition will lead to Europe falling even further behind the US and China, and it will make our societies poorer”, he said.

The European Parliament is due to go into recess on Thursday, to allow for campaigning ahead of the European Elections in June.

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