Political prisoners forced to make Ikea furniture

Political prisoners forced to make Ikea furniture

Political prisoners forced to make Ikea furniture

Posted 17 November 2012, 8:27 AEST

Swedish furniture company Ikea says it deeply regrets that it used forced labour by East German political prisoners during the 1960s and 1970s.

Former political prisoners of the Stasi, the much-feared East German secret police, claimed they were forced to work on Ikea furniture.

The allegations prompted the Swedish furniture giant to commission a report, which found that the claims were true and that Ikea representatives were aware of the situation.

Stasi Prison Memorial director Dr Hubertus Knabe says Ikea gave contracts to the East German government and did not ask who was producing its furniture and under what conditions

A victims' group says Ikea was not the only company to benefit from forced prison labour.

Ikea says it deeply regrets the use of forced labour and says it now has one of the most rigorous codes for conduct for suppliers.

Former prisoners may now expect compensation.