fsc core labour requirements

While the protection of workers’ rights has always been part of FSC’s principles and mandatory for forest management certificate holders, the new FSC Core Labor Requirements have now also been included in the FSC Chain of Custody standard (FSC-STD-40-004-v3-1).

FSC certificate holders must demonstrate conformance to the FSC Core Labor Requirements, which cover the abolition of child labor, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor, elimination of discrimination with respect to employment and occupation, upholding freedom of association, and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.


What do certificate holders need to do?

COC Certificate holders must be able to demonstrate (to external third-party auditors) that they are implementing the new requirements in their operations, including:

  • Adopting policy statement(s) that encompass the FSC core labor requirements
  • Implementing these requirements in their operations
  • Describing this implementation, and identifying evidence of implementation, in self-assessments (which are verified by auditors)

The transition period for the new version of the FSC Chain of Custody Standard (FSC-STD-40-004-v3-1) begins September 1, 2021. Both versions of the standard are valid during the transition period, but all certificate holders must be audited to the new standard by December 31, 2022.


Resources for COC Certificate Holders

FSC Canada and other FSC Network Partners are finalizing country/region-specific self-assessments, which are intended to point certificate holders to information that will help them to demonstrate conformance.


Other country-specific self-assessments are available in a *zip file on the FSC International Chain of Custody webpage (look for downloads at the bottom of the web page).


Self-Assessment Webinar Recordings




A PDF version of the presentation and the questions asked during the webinar are available on the FSC International website.


Core Labour Requirement Q&A

FSC’s guidance document is meant to help organizations and certification bodies implement the FSC core labour requirements. It covers and consolidates many issues of concern that stakeholders have expressed to provide helpful direction.



Additional resources are available on the FSC International Chain of Custody web page (look for download and viewing options at the bottom of the web page).


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