Sean MacDougall

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The Uyghur Muslims are a minority group in northwest China who have been the subject of news agencies around the world recently and the potential human rights violations they may be going through.

It’s been alleged by multiple outlets that these people are being forced by the Chinese government into camps, also referred to as detention centres, where they are forced to give up their religion, language and indoctrinated by the Communist Party until they “graduate.”

There has also been allegations they are forced to have abortions and sterilizations to control and shrink population numbers.

Now, a new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) shows this minority group may be subject to forced labour in the supply chain for 83 well known brands.

Part of the report “identified a network of at least 27 factories in nine Chinese provinces where more than 80,000 Uyghurs, from the western region of Xinjiang, had been transferred.”

Xinjiang is an autonomous territory in northwest China where the Uyghur Muslim populations live.

So what can we do about egregious violations on human rights?

One approach is education. We can educate ourselves on what brands may be using forced labour in China’s factories and we can switch to an alternative.

It should be noted during the writing of this report, some of the brands had their vendors terminate relationships with factories using forced labour.

Another aspect of this story is the near media blackout. The Chinese government flat out denies most of these allegations.

Reporters have not been allowed anywhere near these areas, or have been tightly controlled as to try and corroborate allegations brought forward by reports of family members going missing and others being forced into detention centres.

Detailed information can be found by googling: China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour

Sean MacDougall

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