As many as 80,000 Uighurs in China have been forced to work in inhumane conditions in factories that supply goods to some of the most famous brands in the world
Bengaluru: The conditions of Uighur Muslims in China are deplorable and disgusting, to say the least.
In a report published by Australian Strategic Policy Institute, an Australian company, it has come to light that as many as 80000 Uighur Muslims have been dispersed across China to work in factories that provide goods to some of the most famous brands, including Apple.
The Guardian noted that 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”.
Living conditions inhumane
In conditions that “strongly suggest forced labour”, the website quotes the report as saying that 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. According to government documents analysed by the ASPI, workers are often assigned minders and have limited freedom of movement.
Case studies highlighted in the report, titled Uyghurs for Sale, include Qingdao Taekwang Shoes, a factory in eastern China that produces shoes for Nike. The workers were mostly Uighur women from the prefectures of Hotan and Kashgar in southern Xinjiang, and attended night classes whose curriculum was similar to that of the re-education camps.
This was as reported by the website.
Report calls for investigation:
The report called on China to allow multinational companies unfettered access to investigate any potential instances of abusive or forced labour in factories in China, and for companies to conduct audits and human rights due-diligence inspections.
“It is vital that, as these problems are addressed, Uighur labourers are not placed in positions of greater harm or, for example, involuntarily transferred back to Xinjiang, where their safety cannot necessarily be guaranteed,” it said.
Last Updated 4:58 PM IST