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2 Mar 2020

Sydney Morning Herald

Major global brands implicated in Australian Strategic Policy Institute's report on forced labour in China

“Nike, Apple among dozens of major brands implicated in report on forced labour”, 1 March 2020

Nike, Apple and a major manufacturer building trains in Australia are among the dozens of global brands implicated in a new report on forced labour in China...

The report... alleges some factories that supply the brands appear to be using Uighur workers sent directly from re-education camps.

The Chinese government maintains the camps, which it describes as vocational education facilities, are needed to combat terrorism in the Xinjiang region and to "ensure its smooth economic transition".

It has dismissed claims that up to a million members of the Uighur muslim minority have been detained in the camps as "fake news"...

"Local Chinese governments and private brokers are paid a price per head for workers on the labour assignments," ASPI found…

The report alleged up to 600 are employed at the Qingdao Taekwang Shoes factory.

"At the factory, the Uighur labourers make Nike shoes during the day," the report said. "In the evening, they attend a night school where they study Mandarin, sing the Chinese national anthem and receive vocational training and patriotic education. The curriculum closely mirrors that of Xinjiang’s re-education camps.

"In such circumstances, it is unlikely that their work arrangements are voluntary."

The Washington Post corroborated the claims… The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have not been able to independently verify the allegations before deadline…

Adidas told ASPI the company does not have an active relationship with the factory and that they will investigate the use of the Adidas signage.

A Nike spokesman told The Washington Post that "we respect human rights in our extended value chain, and always strive to conduct business ethically and responsibly".

Apple said it would work with suppliers to ensure its standards are upheld…