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China: Mounting concerns over forced labour in Xinjiang

Image of a field of cotton

Reports have alleged that millions of Uyghurs and other ethnic-minorities have been detained in re-education camps and forced to work in factories in Xinjiang, as well as transferred to areas outside of Xinjiang under a government-led labour transfer scheme. Mounting evidence has indicated that Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are being employed under conditions of forced labour in factories supplying major global companies.

The US government has introduced a ban on cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang, enabling the US Customs and Border Protection to issue a withhold release order to seize such products at point of entry. Concerns have also led to the introduction of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, currently in the US Congress, that would change its policy with the aim of ensuring that US entities are not funding forced labour among ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, as well as movements by governments including Canada and the UK to introduce similar measures.

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