S&D: Zero tolerance for slave labor conditions in Serbia and violations of protest rights!
On the initiative of the Socialists and Democrats, the European Parliament today debated violations of workers’ rights in Serbia, including forced labor in the Chinese Linglong tire factory. Serious reports have reported the inhuman working conditions of 500 Vietnamese workers, allegedly victims of human trafficking.
The resolution, which is expected to be adopted later today, urges Serbian authorities to ensure respect for labor rights and improve the country’s alignment with EU labor law.
He also expresses deep concerns about corruption, disregard for the rule of law and the general lack of transparency and environmental and social impact assessments for infrastructure projects, with many Chinese investments and loans, as well as money from multinational corporations such as Rio Tinto.
Finally, he also urges the Serbian authorities to appropriately address the growing violence of extremist and hooligan groups against peaceful environmental and civil society protests.
Tonino Picula, S&D MEP and Foreign Affairs spokesperson, said:
“It’s a shame that we have to talk about forced labor and human trafficking in a country that aspires to join the EU. How ironic, that only this week we opened the so-called “green cluster” of accession negotiations with Serbia, including an environment-related chapter A few days after the mass protests in Serbia against the legislative proposal of the government, which would dangerously endanger the environment and the health of citizens!
“Civic resistance led to the withdrawal of the contested law, but unfortunately we totally failed to react from the European Commission and the Council. Instead, they rewarded Serbia, the country showing the clearest signs of regression in the area of rule of law, by opening new negotiating chapters. This sends the wrong message and is unfair to other countries in the Western Balkans who have not seen any new chapter open!
“Another source of concern for us is the mural of convicted war criminal Ratko Mladić in Belgrade, which the authorities have so far refused to have permanently removed. We call on the authorities to investigate the role of hooligan groups and their close links. to the police, during violent incidents with activists protesting against the mural.
Demetris Papadakis, S&D MEP and negotiator of the resolution on Serbia, added:
“The working conditions in the Linglong Tire Factory, as reported by NGOs and the media, are simply inhuman: no money, no passport, no hot water. It must stop! We call on the Serbian authorities to carefully investigate the Linglong case and to ensure basic human rights are respected, in particular labor rights in the factory. The findings of these investigations must be shared with the EU and the perpetrators must be held accountable. Such violations are not acceptable in an EU candidate country!
“However, we commend Serbian civil society and environmental activists for achieving some of the goals of their protests: the withdrawal of the controversial expropriation law and a promise of public consultation. This shows that civil activism bears its mark. The government and parliament will have to think hard next time before rushing legislation.
“Serbia is part of Europe. But for its path to EU membership to progress, Serbia must join, defend and uphold the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and respect. human rights.