Detained Uighurs forced to work in factories for foreign brands

WION Web Team
Xinjiang, China Published: Mar 02, 2020, 02.18 PM(IST)

Uighur men are seen leaving a mosque after prayers in Hotan in China's northwest Xinjiang region. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

ASPI said the Uighurs were moved through labour transfer schemes operating under a central government policy known as Xinjiang Aid.

Thousands of Muslims from China's Uighur minority group are working under coercive conditions at factories that supply some of the world's biggest brands, as per a new report.

According to the think tank of Canberra-based Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), at least 80,000 Uighurs have been transferred from Xinjiang province, some of them directly from detention centres, to factories across China that make goods for dozens of global brands in 2017 and 2018.

Also read: Leaked data says China detained Uighur muslims for beards, veils and internet browsing

Using open-source public documents, satellite imagery, and media reports, the institute identified 27 factories in nine Chinese provinces that have used labourers transferred from re-education centres in Xinjiang since 2017 as part of a programme known as “Xinjiang aid”.

ASPI said the Uighurs were moved through labour transfer schemes operating under a central government policy known as Xinjiang Aid.

Watch: The 'Karakax' list exposes how China Targets Uighur Muslims

According to the report, the factories claim to be part of the supply chain for 83 well-known global brands, including Nike, Apple, Volkswagen, Dell among others.

In conditions that “strongly suggest forced labour”, the report says, workers live in segregated dormitories, are required to study Mandarin and undergo ideological training. 

They are frequently subjected to surveillance and barred from observing religious practices. 

Reports leaked last month suggested that China detained Muslim minority Uighurs for beards, wearing veils, visiting foreign countries and having "too many" children websites.

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