U.S. Apparel Trade Associations Condemn Forced Labor in China

By Andrew Asch
Friday, July 24, 2020

Leading apparel trade associations in the United States recently made a joint statement condemning forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China. The group also stressed that it is a priority to guarantee that products made by forced labor do not appear in U.S. supply chains.

Signing the joint statement was the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association and the United States Fashion Industry Association. The statement was part of a larger call to action made last week, where more than 180 organizations from across the world urged clothing brands to sever ties with producers who use cotton and yarn from the Uyghur region.

According to the Uyghur Human Rights Project, based in Washington D.C., the Chinese government has placed more than 1 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities from Xinjiang in forced-labor camps. It’s a campaign to erase Uyghur culture, according to Omer Kanat, executive director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.