Xinjiang supply chain risks intensify and extend beyond China’s borders

Human Rights Outlook 2019
by Ryan Aherin, 9 September 2019

Reports of forced labour violations in Xinjiang increase

As more reports emerge about ongoing human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region against the indigenous Uighur population, the likelihood of more companies being swept into controversy over the use of forced and child labour in Xinjiang increases.

The supply chains of apparel brands have already been linked to labour rights abuses, but there is evidence to suggest these violations could move beyond the sector and even China’s borders, as raw materials produced in Xinjiang are being used in manufacturing in other countries.

Number of mass detentions camps expanded over the last 2 years

Ethnic tensions have simmered in Xinjiang for decades, but bloody riots in 2009 marked the beginning of a new chapter of escalating violence that, in turn, triggered a heavy-handed security crackdown. These include: separating children from their families to indoctrinate them into Han Chinese culture and the mass detention of young adults in custom-built internment camps over government fears they may be susceptible to extremist activities.