2022 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum

Health, safety risks and poor labour standards: The corrosive effects of illicit trade on public integrity and trust

Apr 1, 2022 | 2:15 PM CEST - 3:15 PM CEST


Illicit trade is a significant and growing threat in today’s globalised and innovation-driven economy. The damaging impact includes a wide range of socio-economic damages, such as on the environment or on citizens’ health and safety. Criminals running illicit trade networks are seeking to exploit people and our environment to maximise profits, and compromise the public interest and security to expand their trafficking and smuggling operations. They also violate human rights and international labour standards to optimise the manufacturing of illicit goods, creating demand for forced labour and child exploitation. These effects are of high concern for policymakers, as they undermine the rule of law and public trust, fair trade and legal commerce, and ultimately threaten democracy. This session will discuss existing evidence on the adverse impact that illicit trade has on citizen’s health, safety and environment, as well as the incidence of forced labour in illicit market activities that hamper global welfare, economic security, innovation and competitiveness.