7 suppliers of iPhone maker Apple in China linked to forced labour programmes: Report

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: May 11, 2021, 04:04 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

China tops the list of countries that are exporting products made with forced labour. Reports say that the origins of at least 17 goods can be traced back to forced and child labour.

Digital media portal The Information has said that Seven of Apple's suppliers were found to be linked to suspected forced labour of Uyghur Muslims and other persecuted groups sourced from the Xinjiang region.

The investigation report suggests that the use of forced labour by some of Apple's largest suppliers is more widespread than previously reported.

Gravitas: Is forced Uighur labour making your favourite Apple products?

"Apple’s suppliers participated in labour programs suspected of being part of China's alleged genocide against Uyghurs. The newly uncovered evidence stands in contrast to Apple's statements that it hasn't found evidence of forced labour," said that report.

Gravitas | China: The world capital for forced labour

If Chinese propaganda is to be believed, the ethnic minorities in Xinjiang are happy and prosperous. In a video, the Chinese ambassador to Belgium says the minorities in Xinjiang are happy and carefree.

But there is another side of Xinjiang which China hasn't shared. A report from August narrates the tale of how Uighur Muslims are pushed into forced labour. As the global demand for personal protective equipment or PPE shot up, Uighurs were sent to work in at least 17 companies against their will.

China describes it as lifting the poor out of poverty, but a report by the US Labour Department blows the lid off China's slavery program.

China tops the list of countries that are exporting products made with forced labour. Reports say that the origins of at least 17 goods can be traced back to forced and child labour. This includes artificial flowers, Christmas decorations, coal, fish, footwear, gloves, hair products and more.

In March 2020, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) published a report Uyghurs for sale: ‘Re-education’, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang, which identified 83 foreign and Chinese companies as allegedly directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside Xinjiang through potentially abusive labour transfer programs. 

Activists and UN experts say that more than 1 million Muslim Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims are being held against their will in harsh camps in the remote western region.

(With inputs from agencies)

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