China guilty of forced labour under 'horrendous conditions' on BRI project: US Report

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Jun 26, 2020, 05.36 AM(IST)

BRI Project Photograph:( Reuters )

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The report claims that what is more troublesome is the forced labour that has been undergoing, especially with the help of the mass detention camps where reportedly millions of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz and other Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang.

As per the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report by the US, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the state-owned companies are making their employees work in  "horrendous conditions" on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, revealed that, according to the report, China is in Tier-3 category (lowest ranking).

"Our Trafficking in Persons Report calls out a group of nations with a state-sponsored pattern of forced labour. Among them is China, where the CCP and its state-owned enterprises often forcing citizens to work in horrendous conditions on Belt and Road project," he said.

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However, this is not the first time that China has been retained to Tier-3 category. China has been placed in Tier-3 category since 2017, as the US report believes that China "does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so".

"Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including by prosecuting and convicting some traffickers and by continuing to cooperate with international authorities to address forced and fraudulent marriages in the PRC, a key trafficking vulnerability for foreign women and girls," the report said.

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The report claims that despite these efforts, what is more troublesome is the forced labour that has been undergoing, especially with the help of the mass detention camps where reportedly millions of Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz and other Muslims have been detained in Xinjiang.

The report has urged China to put an end to the forced labour. "Cease the use of harassment, threats and illegal discriminatory immigration policies as measures to coerce the return to Xinjiang and subsequent forced labor of ethnic and religious minorities living abroad," it stated.

The TIP report is divided into Tier-1, Tier-2, Tier-2 watchlist, and Tier-3. Countries whose governments fully meet the TVPA`s (Trafficking Victims Protection Act) minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking are categorised as Tier-1.

Countries categorised under Tier-3 get access to only limited resources from the US.

(With inputs from agencies)