Four Corners: Your clothes may be slave-made
An ABC’s Four Corners segment on Tuesday featured an exposé on forced labor in the Chinese textile industry. The segment focuses on the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), an area known for being home to Chinese government ‘re-education’ through labor program.
It is estimated by Amnesty that up to one million people may be victims of modern slavery in the province. Many people suspected to be trapped in the Xinjiang region are still missing, with family members unaware if they are safe or alive. Many individuals interviewed by Amnesty reported horror stories of torture in the camps.
People have been sent to the camps for many reasons, with a high proportion of victims being Muslim persons. Some reasons for ‘re-education’ include:
Open or private displays or religious or cultural affiliation
Growth of ‘abnormal’ beard
Wearing a veil or headscarf
Fasting or avoidance of alcohol
Possession of religious texts
Travel to muslim countries for work or education
Contact with people outside of China
Use of encrypted messaging apps such as WhatsApp
Many Australian brands are sourcing cotton from the Xinjiang province, including Target, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Dangerfield, Ikea and H&M. Target and H&M have reported that they are investigating their relationships with suppliers in the region.
For more information see https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-15/uyghur-forced-labour-xinjiang-china/11298750