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23 Jul 2020

China: Civil society organisations call on apparel brands & retailers to cut ties with suppliers allegedly using forced labour of ethnic minorities

Minority rights groups, civil society organisations and labour unions around the world have come together to call on apparel brands and retailers to cut ties with suppliers using the forced labour of ethnic minorities in the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang.

According to the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, as many as 1.8 million members of Muslim minorities have been detailed in the region. The report alleges that they have been subject to torture, political indoctrination and forced labour in mass internment camps.

The products produced through this forced labour are reportedly found in international apparel supply chains, with an estimated 1 in 5 cotton garments sold globally containing cotton and/or yarn from the region. Many global apparel brands allegedly maintain partnerships with Chinese suppliers that use forced labour through the Chinese government’s labour transfer programme.

Civil society organisations are calling on apparel brands and retailers to take meaningful action to ensure that their supply chains do not benefit from or facilitate forced labour in the region.

Company comments are included in the articles linked below.