Ikea 'was aware of possibility that suppliers were using forced labour'

Swedish furniture giant Ikea says it “deeply regrets” the fact that some of its suppliers used forced prison labour in communist East Germany more than two decades ago.

The company says it never condoned the use of forced labour but an independent report shows it failed to properly vet how its suppliers were manufacturing furniture for the company at the time.

Ikea commissioned auditors Ernst & Young to look into allegations that it benefited from the use of forced labour by East German prisoners, some of whom were political dissidents.

The report released in Berlin today concludes that Ikea managers “were aware of the possibility that political prisoners would be used in the production of Ikea products in the former GDR” but that measures to prevent this were insufficient.

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