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UN Human Rights Council send letters to companies over Xinjiang forced labour allegations

"UN Human Rights Council targets companies over Xinjiang forced labour", 24 March 2021

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has sent out letters to a raft of international companies, including those in the apparel and textiles industry, about their potential use of forced labour in China, as companies continue to be urged to conduct reviews of their supply chains.

The letters, some to well-known global brands, are located in the US, China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Finland, and Denmark, according to international trade law firm Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg (ST&R).

It is understood the UNHRC has received information these companies may be involved, through their supply chains, in alleged forced labour, arbitrary detention, and trafficking in Uyghurs and other minority workers within and outside China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. These workers are predominantly employed in low-skilled, labour-intensive industries such as agribusiness, textiles and apparel, automotive, and technology.

According to ST&R, the Council said it has also received information regarding multinational corporations sourcing items from factories in China, including in Xinjiang, not being allowed to freely access those factories in order to exercise adequate oversight and human rights due diligence. [...]

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