Sweden’s Ikea Admits Use of Forced Labor in East Germany

Posted November 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Swedish furniture giant Ikea is acknowledging that some of its suppliers used forced prison labor in the communist former East Germany more than two decades ago.

The company released an independent report Friday concluding that some Ikea managers were aware of the possibility that political prisoners would be used to make the company's products. Ikea said the manufacture of the furniture occurred 25 to 30 years ago, before the fall of East Germany's government and that country's reunification as part of Germany in 1990.

The report concluded that Ikea took some steps to prevent use of the forced prison labor, but that its controls proved inadequate.

The company said, “We deeply regret that this could happen.” Ikea pledged funding for research projects on forced labor in East Germany.