søndag 14. mars 2021

US Firms Must Cut Ties to Xinjiang Due to Extensive Forced Labor, Lack of Due Diligence: Experts

The only way U.S. apparel brands and retailers can ensure they are not complicit in forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and are complying with U.S. law when they import apparel is to cut supply chain ties to the region, experts told a Washington hearing Wednesday.

Authorities in the XUAR are believed to have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since early 2017. Under increasing international scrutiny, authorities in the region have begun to send detainees to work at factories as part of an effort to label the camps “vocational centers,” although those held in the facilities regularly toil under forced or coerced labor conditions.

Reports of abuses have led to the U.S. designating the situation in the region as genocide, following earlier legislation that allows for sanctions of officials and entities deemed responsible for oppressive policies there, including the forced labor scheme. However, forced or coerced labor is so pervasive in the XUAR that many companies, including major international brands and retailers, are at a loss for how to completely disentangle themselves from the problem, even when they make a concerted effort to do so.