Human Rights Now publishes report on 11 Japanese companies’ response to Uyghur human rights issues
[Excerpt translation from Japanese to English provided by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.]
"Japanese companies complicit in forced labour of Uyghurs...International human rights NGO Human Rights Now calls for supply chain investigations", 28 Aug 2020
On August 28 the international human rights NGO Human Rights Now held a press conference to address allegations of forced labour occurring in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. At the event, the organization announced its report, which raises the possibility of Japanese companies' indirect involvement in forced labour of Uyghurs through their supply chains and urges them to take immediate action...
Human Rights Now said, "Japanese companies may be aware of the situation in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region yet continue sourcing from suppliers that use forced labour of Uyghurs who have been forcibly detained. This oversight could develop into a major problem that amounts to complicity in serious human rights abuses."
The Japan Uyghur Association sent a questionnaire dated April 30 to 11 apparel and electronics companies based in Japan that have been linked to allegations of forced Uyghur labour.
Human Rights Now commended the fact that only one company did not respond to the questionnaire. However, it pointed out that companies' responses were insufficient, urging them to take the following steps: 1. investigate the allegations found in the report, 2. investigate not only first-tier but also second-tier suppliers, and 3. investigate allegations of forced labour in an objective and effective manner.
Human Rights Now also urged the Japanese government to take the following steps: A. continue considering regulations that would require companies to respond to human rights risks, including forced labour in their supply chains; B. provide sufficient information to companies involved in countries and regions where the international community has indicated high human rights risks; and C. encourage the Chinese government to comply thoroughly with international human rights treaties.