Among those who stand out with his story in the new report submitted to Sheffield Hallam University is Arzhan Qurban. subjected to forced labor.
– The room we stayed in had four cameras watching us to make sure we didn’t talk to each other. Qurban said that those who spoke were handcuffed and forced to stand against a wall.
This is just one of the 525 testimonies that have heldBring which reveals how China exploits Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in state-regulated forced labor in Xinjiang Province. The report also reveals which international companies are using forced labor-related suppliers.
– The guards told us we had no right to speak because they thought we weren’t human. They also said we wouldn’t be here if we were human beings, Qurban says.
When Kurban was released from a concentration camp in 2018, he was sent to a factory that produced gloves.
According to the report, China has set up a system in which the authorities force 2.5 million Uyghurs to work in factories or pick cotton.
Uyghur Qamil Ahmed also stands out for its story. After a year in a concentration camp, she was released, but on conditions. She had agreed to work in a textile factory.
– I was monitored all the time and was taken to and from work. At the same time, Chinese guards confiscated my identity papers, Ahmed said.
But not everyone who works in textile factories is released from the camps. Razila Nural says she worked in a textile factory, but was taken back to the camp after office hours.
She was only allowed to sleep three hours a night.
According to the report, the released are threatened with being sent back to the camp if they do not agree to the job assigned to them.
shops in norway
85 percent of the cotton production in China and 22 percent of the world’s cotton production is produced in Xinjiang. In this way, the region accounts for about one-fifth of the world’s cotton production.
Through subcontractors, the cotton is exported to international chains.
Production may also have reached Norwegian consumers. One of the global companies mentioned in the report is the bestselling Danish fashion giant.
Best seller She owns stores like Vero Moda, Only, Jack & Jones, and Name it. According to the report, a Chinese textile company called Xinjiang Luthai Fengshou Cotton Industry Co., Ltd. Ltd., the merchandise of another company, Luthai Shandog.
Then the goods are exported to Laguna Clothing (India), from which the bestsellers buy the goods.
Another Chinese factory is Jiangsu Lianfa Textile Co., Ltd. Ltd. This company exports raw materials to Aquarella (India), and buys best-selling products from there.
The report stresses that we cannot say with certainty that a particular brand, without any doubt, receives products made from Xinjiang cotton.
There is no such resource
TV 2 contacted the bestseller for an answer to what appears in the report.
In an email to TV 2, Director of Communications Kasper Reggelsen wrote:
– Bestseller has no suppliers in Xinjiang and Bestseller suppliers are not allowed to make clothes or pick up threads for products from the area.
At the same time, he stressed that the global value chain of textile production is extensive.
– Reglsen says traceability is something we, and the entire industry, are working extensively to improve.
The report was written by Laura T. Murphy, professor of human rights and modern slavery at Sheffield Hallam University in the United Kingdom.
Murphy told TV 2 that companies should be able to explain how to ensure their products are not made from Xinjiang cotton.
They should have more than simple assurances from their suppliers that they will not buy Xinjiang cotton. They should examine supply chains themselves, according to the professor.
“Even if their products are not made from Xinjiang cotton, it should also be their duty that no company in the supply chain is using in any way products made from state-regulated forced labor in the Uyghur region,” she says. End.
China cannot be trusted
Bahtiar Omer is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Norwegian Uyghur Committee. He believes that the report is a clear sign that the situation of the Uyghurs has not changed, and on the contrary, the amount of forced labor has increased compared to the figures in previous reports.
– 90 Chinese and international companies have supply chains linked to forced labour. He stresses that it is important for people to understand that China cannot be trusted when it comes to ethical trading.
“It is possible that the clothes we buy in Norway are made of Uyghurs who have been arrested, tortured, forcibly sterilized and forced to work,” he says at the end.
According to international reports, more than a million Uyghurs are held in secret camps where China and other Muslim minorities force them to deny their Islamic faith. They are monitored and retrained to become “better Chinese”.
Chinese authorities deny holding Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in camps against their will. The state also denies any human rights violations in Xinjiang.
The journalist behind this article, Ayson Yazici, is a Turkish journalist living in exile in Norway. It is affiliated with the State Department at TV 2.
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