ImpACT welcomes European Parliament’s condemnation of China’s exploitation of Uighur Muslims

ImpACT welcomes European Parliament’s condemnation of  China’s exploitation of Uighur Muslims

LONDON - The European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday saying it “strongly condemns the Chinese government-led system of forced labour, in particular the exploitation of Uighur and other Muslim minority groups in factories within and outside the internment camps in Xinjiang.” It described the Chinese government as an “increasingly oppressive regime,” condemning the “continued transfer of forced labourers to other Chinese administrative divisions” and denouncing the “well-known European brands and companies that have been benefiting from forced Chinese labour.”

The parliaments went on to pass a motion urging EU leaders to use their sanction powers to punish the Chinese government. It calls on member states to consider adopting sanctions against Chinese officials and state businesses, such as Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, which are responsible for the forced detention of millions of Uighurs. The parliament passed the resolution after the EU launched a programme encouraging member states to impose sanctions on global human rights violators.

The European parliament’s resolution condemning China’s human rights violations is a pivotal step in protecting the rights of Muslim minorities in mainland China.

ImpACT International welcomes the EU parliament’s prioritisation of corporate due diligence and call for states to work together to combat the Chinese government’s inhumane treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, mainly the Uighur Muslim and Kazakh populations. States should recognise that ideological indoctrination and forced labour are unethical and must be stopped immediately. For example, in the last month, the U.S. government blocked cotton imports from Xinjiang since they are associated with Uighur forced-labour camps.

ImpACT is deeply concerned with forced labour and other ongoing human rights violations in Xinjang factories, reflected in its recent report on Chinese factories producing fast-fashion clothing. The report describes the exploitation of workers in forced-labour camps that produce cotton materials for the fast-fashion industry. Since 2017, the Chinese government and the country’s Communist party have confined over 1.8 million Uighurs in “re-education camps,” where they are subjected to mental and physical abuse whilst exposed to propaganda. The detained Uighurs reportedly are shackled and blindfolded before being transported to factories that produce cotton components for international garment manufacturers.

Through universal condemnation of the events taking place in the Muslim detention centres in mainland China, states can exert the collective power needed to demand a halt to abuse of ethnic minorities.

This blatant, widespread abuse should ring alarm bells across the globe and deserves international condemnation. The European parliament’s resolution condemning China’s human rights violations is a pivotal step in protecting the rights of Muslim minorities in mainland China. It is especially important in light of the fact that the Chinese government has repeatedly denied allegations that it operates forced-labour camps and commits other human rights abuses in Xinjiang. In addition, the resolution encourages European businesses to become more aware of the steps in their supply chains and the labour conditions in each phase.

ImpACT International congratulates the European parliament for its attention to the deteriorating situation in Xinjiang and urges states to follow its direction. Through universal condemnation of the events taking place in the Muslim detention centres in mainland China, states can exert the collective power needed to demand a halt to abuse of ethnic minorities.

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