The recently published ASPI-report “Uyghurs for sale” discloses that supply chains of major brands are linked to Uyghur forced labor. The researchers refer to company supplier lists, satellite images, media reports and other scientific sources. Since 2017, the Chinese government has interned about one million Uyghurs in camps in the western province of Xinjiang. According to Beijing’s interpretation, these are “training centers” in which members of the Muslim minority would be “deradicalized” and “qualified”. Following the report, however, it is extremely difficult for Uyghurs to refuse or escape from those facilities. The fear of arbitrary detention, which threatens members of the minority, is added to constant surveillance.
Forced labor in supply chains of many brands worldwide
The report estimates that more than 80,000 Uyghurs were forced to work in factories out of Xinjiang across China between 2017 and 2019. According to the researchers, at least 83 Chinese and international companies are beneficiaries of this program, including corporations such as Adidas, Apple, Asus, Calvin Klein, Hitachi, Lacoste, Microsoft, Mitsubishi and Panasonic. Large German companies are also on the list, including BMW, Bosch, Siemens and Volkswagen.
For brands it crucial to know whether their supply chain is linked to faculties with human rights issues. Read our blog article “five steps towards supply chain transparency” or read our white papers to find out how you can disclose your supply chain.