When Europe says no to forced labor

Audio 19:30

A farmer in a cotton field in Hami, Xinjiang, Uighur Autonomous Region.

REUTERS / China Daily

By: Frédérique Lebel

2 min

This is one of Europe's emblematic projects for the years to come: to ban the sale of products resulting from forced labor.

With in view: the work of the Uyghur population, a repressed Muslim minority in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.

A region that produces 20% of the world's cotton. 


In Germany, we took the lead

since a complaint was filed against several large companies accused of profiting from the forced labor of the Uyghurs.

This is the report in Berlin by Julien Méchaussie.  

Fight against smoking 

All countries on the continent are not equal when it comes to tobacco. If the Scandinavian countries are the most virtuous, in France there are 36% of smokers among young people, the worst figure behind Bulgaria.

In Switzerland, a country that is very late in the fight against smoking, a law has just been adopted which prohibits the sale of cigarettes to minors

. But a trompe-l'oeil ban for associations. The law still gives too good a share to the industry, and does not even allow to ratify the convention on the fight against tobacco of the WHO, whose headquarters are in 

Geneva. The explanations of Jérémie Lanche.  

And in Europe, Spain is one of the last countries where tobacco is still produced


Mainly blond tobacco, grown on 8,000 hectares in the north of Extremadura, in the region of La Vera.

This is also where the leaves are dried and then processed.

An agricultural activity which survives thanks to the subsidies of the Common Agricultural Policy, and which generates some 3,000 direct jobs.

Report in Spain by Diane Cambon.

And in the Balkans, the fight against smoking goes hand in hand with the fight against cigarette trafficking. 

In the countries of the former Yugoslavia, an estimated 7.5 billion euros in tax revenues evaporate each year, or 4.5% of GDP, mainly due to the trafficking of cigarettes.

Hardly surprising when you consider that taxes represent 85% of the price of the package and that one in three adults is a smoker.

Simon Rico.  

And for our column "In a nutshell", we come back to the potato, potatoe, or the "Tayto", as the Irish say


A word which has become a brand and which is above all a culinary symbol and a symbol of Irish identity. 

Emeline Wine.  


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  • Uyghurs

  • China

  • Germany

  • Health and medicine

  • Swiss

  • Spain

  • PAC

  • Ireland

On the same subject

International report

Germany: a complaint against companies accused of profiting from forced labor of Uyghurs

Forced labor of Uyghurs: investigation opened in France against four textile giants

In France, confinement has exploded tax revenues related to tobacco