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Author Topic: Xinjiang cotton sparks concern over 'forced labour' claims  (Read 9 times)

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Xinjiang cotton sparks concern over 'forced labour' claims
« on: November 12, 2019, 11:39:42 pm »
Global retailers are facing scrutiny over cotton supplies sourced from Xinjiang, a Chinese region plagued by allegations of human rights abuses.

China is one of the world's top cotton producers and most of its crop is grown in Xinjiang.

Rights groups say Xinjiang's Uighur minority are being persecuted and recruited for forced labour.
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Many brands are thought to indirectly source cotton products from the Xinjiang region in China's far west.

Japanese retailers Muji and Uniqlo attracted attention recently after a report highlighted the brands used the Xinjiang-origin of their cotton as a selling point in advertisements.

H&M, Esprit and Adidas are among the firms said to be at the end of supply chains involving cotton products from Xinjiang, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation.

"You can't be sure that you don't have coerced labour in your supply chain if you do cotton business in China," said Nathan Ruser, researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
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"Xinjiang labour and what is almost certainly coerced labour is very deeply entrenched into the supply chain that exists in Xinjiang."
What is happening in Xinjiang?
UN experts and human rights groups say China is holding more than a million Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in vast detention camps.

Rights groups also say people in camps are made to learn Mandarin Chinese, swear loyalty to President Xi Jinping, and criticise or renounce their faith.China says those people are attending "vocational training centres" which are giving them jobs and helping them integrate into Chinese society, in the name of preventing terrorism.

What is produced in Xinjiang?
The Xinjiang region is a key hub of Chinese cotton production.

China produces about 22% of global cotton supplies, according to a report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
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Last year, 84% of Chinese cotton came from Xinjiang, the report said.

That has raised concerns over whether forced labour has been used in the production of cotton from the region.

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