Human rights violations off the rack; Dutch and US brands allegedly rely on forced labor
The European Center for Constitutional Rights (ECCHR) with the support of Prakken d’Oliveira Human Rights Lawyers submitted a criminal complaint against several Dutch and US textile and fashion brands who have their European headquarters in the Netherlands. They argue that Patagonia, Nike, C&A and State of Art may have been directly or indirectly complicit in the forced labor of members of the Uyghur population in China's Xinjiang province. They ask the Dutch Public Prosecutor to investigate the corporations’ alleged complicity in human rights violations that could amount to crimes against humanity.
Alarming reports about torture, re-education camps, and forced labor in the Xinjiang region in China have increased in frequency since 2017…Research reports, as well as publicly available supply chain information disclosed by the investigated brands, explicitly state that the companies have suppliers with production facilities in Xinjiang.
“It is unacceptable that European governments criticize China for human rights violations while these companies possibly profit from the exploitation of the Uyghur population…
The complaint in the Netherlands is part of a series of criminal complaints in Europe against Western brands regarding their alleged involvement in Xinjiang. In September 2021, ECCHR submitted a similar complaint in Germany and in April 2021, a criminal complaint [was] brought by Sherpa in France.