Apple rallying against bill to stop forced Uighur labour

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
Washington, United States Published: Nov 23, 2020, 10.22 PM(IST)

Apple Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The move by Apple lobbyists highlights the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights

Major US companies, reportedly including Apple, are lobbying against a new piece of legislation that seeks to prevent forced labor in China.

The move by Apple lobbyists highlights the clash between its business imperatives and its official stance on human rights.

The bill, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, levies sanctions on human rights violators and prevents imports of goods manufactured in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang unless companies can guarantee they weren't produced by imprisoned or coerced workers.

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Apple is heavily dependent on Chinese manufacturing, and human rights reports have identified instances in which alleged forced Uighur labor has been used in Apple’s supply chain.

Earlier in 2020, select Apple suppliers were accused of using forced Uighur labor to manufacture components for the Cupertino tech giant.

In July, Apple said it was continuing to carry out investigations of the alleged forced labor. Results from the probe turned up no evidence of wrongdoing among its suppliers, Apple said.

"Forced labor is abhorrent," Apple CEO Tim Cook told Congress in July. "We would not tolerate it in Apple" and would "terminate a supplier relationship if it were found.

Apple has repeatedly faced heat over its production facilities in China. The latest allegation came in March when a think tank published a report finding four instances of forced labour being used in Apple's supply chain.

The report says that in 2017 the Chinese government transferred 1,000 to 2,000 Uighurs in a factory owned by o-film, a company that makes selfie cameras for the Apple iPhone.

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