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Hundreds of international brands 'at risk' of selling products related to Uyghur forced labour: Report

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Washington | November 25, 2021 5:48:05 PM IST
More than a hundred international brands "at-risk" of selling products related to Uyghur forced labour because of the way China's cotton industry "obscures" where the cotton actually comes from, according to a November 2021 report

The report --- Laundering Cotton, How Xinjiang Cotton Obscured In International Supply Chains,-- by the Helena Kennedy Center for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University in England, found that five major Chinese yarn and fabric suppliers are using cotton from the Uyghur region, Voice of America reported.

"Through this process, we were able to map likely supply chains that connect Xinjiang cotton to over a hundred international brands," the report states.

According to Laura Murphy, the lead author of the report and professor of human rights and contemporary slavery at Sheffield Hallam University in England, approximately 85 per cent of China's cotton is produced in Xinjiang where local authorities are accused of imposing coercive labour on Uyghur people.

"They [local authorities] compel people -- sometimes whole villages -- to relinquish the leases to their land," Murphy told VOA. "And then they are considered 'surplus labour' by the government and are made more vulnerable to state-sponsored labour transfers."

The calls to boycott Chinese cotton have been growing around the world amid increasing evidence of forced labour is being used in Xinjiang.

"They [local authorities] compel people -- sometimes whole villages -- to relinquish the leases to their land," Murphy told VOA. "And then they are considered 'surplus labour' by the government and are made more vulnerable to state-sponsored labour transfers."

China has been rebuked globally for the crackdown on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.

Early this year, the United States become the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as "genocide".In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide.

The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so.

In April, the United Kingdom also declared China's ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a "genocide". (ANI)

 
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