Global brands employ Uyghur Muslims as ‘forced labour

Global brands employ Uyghur Muslims as ‘forced labour

New Delhi: The Chinese government is forcing thousands of its Uyghur Muslim citizens to work as “forced labour” in hundreds of factories across Chinese cities, according to a report published by an Australian think tank in March this year.

The report released by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) titled “Uyghurs for Sale” stated that big, well-known global companies in the field of clothing, technology and automotive sectors like Abercrombie & Fitch, Amazon, GAP, H&M, Nike, Jack & Jones, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, ASUS, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, BMW, Volkswagen, Sony, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, among others, are using Uyghur Muslims as “forced labour” in their factories in China.

According to the report, these minority labour forces in China are being supplied in a systematic way under the revived and exploitative government-led labour transfer scheme to Chinese factories outside the Xinjiang province in China where this community of Muslims live.

“The ASPI has identified 27 factories in nine Chinese provinces that are using Uyghur labour transferred from Xinjiang since 2017. Those factories claim to be part of the supply chain of 83 well-known global brands. Between 2017 and 2019, we estimate that at least 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang and assigned to factories through labour transfer programmes under a Central government policy known as ‘Xinjiang Aid’,” the report said.