Today, the EU has begun government consultations with the Republic of Korea regarding the country’s implementation of commitments related to trade and sustainable development under the EU-Korea free trade agreement. The aim is to arrive at an amicable and mutually satisfactory solution to the EU’s concerns, specifically on labour rights.
The EU has two key longstanding concerns with regard to Korea’s implementation of the commitments on multilateral labour standards and agreements in the chapter on trade and sustainable development, in particular those concerning:
- the respect for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) fundamental principles of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- the pending ratification by Korea of four fundamental ILO Conventions: two concerning freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining; and two concerning forced labour
Both issues are closely interrelated and require a number of legislative and administrative reforms on labour in Korea.
On 17 December 2018 the EU formally requested consultations with the government of the Republic of Korea.
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