A report published by an Australian think tank in March this year revealed that supply chains in China of almost 83 global brands are using Uyghur Muslims forced labor. The report released by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) titled “Uyghurs for Sale” stated names of big, well-known global companies in the field of clothing, technology and automotive sectors.
Major brands named in the report included Abercrombie & Fitch, Amazon, GAP, H&M, Zara, Zegna, Calvin Klein, Carter’s, Nike, Jack & Jones, Sharp, Siemens, Skechers, ASUS, Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Sony, Polo Ralph Lauren, Puma, Victoria’s Secret, Vivo, among others, are using Uyghur Muslims as “forced labour” in their factories in China.
According to the report, 27 factories in nine Chinese provinces are using Uyghur labour transferred from Xinjiang since 2017. Those factories claim to be part of the supply chain of 83 well-known global brands. Between 2017 and 2019, at least 80,000 Uyghurs were transferred out of Xinjiang and assigned to factories through labour transfer programmes under a Central government policy known as ‘Xinjiang Aid’.
In their work place, the workers lead a harsh and segregated life. They are forbidden to practice religion and are required to compulsorily take Mandarin lessons.
So far only Lacoste and Adidas have agreed to cease all activity with suppliers and subcontractors” implicated in a recent report exposing forced Uighur labor.