lørdag 15. mai 2021

China uses Uyghur forced labour to make solar panels, says report

The global production of solar panels is using forced labour from China's Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province, an investigation has found. Xinjiang produces about 45% of the world's supply of the key component, polysilicon, the research by the UK's Sheffield Hallam University says. It says the material is obtained under a massive system of coercion, a claim denied by the Chinese authorities. The report urges top panel makers to source the component elsewhere.

Solar panels are in huge demand because of climate change.Polysilicon is extracted from mined quartz, and the research says the world's four biggest manufacturers use materials tainted by a massive system of coercion. «The [Chinese] government claims that these programmes are in accordance with PRC [the People's Republic of China] law and that workers are engaged voluntarily, in a concerted government-supported effort to alleviate poverty," the report says.

"However, significant evidence - largely drawn from government and corporate sources - reveals that labour transfers are deployed in the Uyghur Region within an environment of unprecedented coercion, undergirded by the constant threat of re-education and internment."