17 May 2023


The exploitation of migrant workers in Sweden’s forest sector

Every year an estimated 5,000 migrant seasonal workers come to Sweden to do the back-breaking work of clearing landscapes and planting trees. They make up 85 – 90 per cent of the workforce and are employed by firms sub-contracted by the companies that dominate Sweden’s forest sector.

"Duped” sheds a light on the endemic mistreatment they face. From earning less than promised, to being employed under unlawful terms. From working in poor conditions to being overcharged for their accommodation: the evidence is consistent and overwhelming.

It contains testimonies from migrant workers, a union, investigative journalists and a small forest owner - stories of exploitation and harm that challenge the claim that such forestry is sustainable.

This briefing shows that this exploitation is rooted in the economic logic which underpins the Swedish forestry model, and which is also driving nature destruction.

Categories: Paper packaging, European forests

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