Some of the world’s most famous brands may be involved in the use of forced Uyghur labour in Chinese factories – more than 10,000 people joined us to say enough is enough.

In March, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a report detailing how companies like Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, Apple, BMW and Jaguar and others, were implicated in the use of forced Uyghur labour in Chinese factories involved in their supply chain.

Some denied it, some stayed silent. We call them the brands of shame.

In July, the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region (a coalition of civil society organisations and trade unions) called on all apparel brands to end any connections with forced labour.

In September, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued orders to block certain products from the Xinjiang region of China from entering America due to the allegations of forced labour.

But sadly, most people are still not aware of the situation in China, where the Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang province are suffering a cultural genocide at the hands of the government.

At least a million people are being held in internment camps, children are placed in orphanages, women subjected to abortions, sterilisation and state sanctioned sexual violence, culturally significant sites are destroyed and the whole Uyghur population is subject to mass surveillance. You can read more here.

People are even less aware that some of the products they use every day might have been partially made with forced Uyghur labour within Chinese factories.

But when we asked our supporters and the public for their help to get this issue more attention and press for change they gave it – more than 10,000 people stepped up and co-signed our letter to the men who run Nike, Adidas, Puma, Fila, Apple, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover demanding that they tell the truth about forced Uyghur labour in their product manufacturing.

Together we have demanded they:

  • Confirm whether their products are produced using forced Uyghur labour
  • Review all China based operations to ensure that forced labour and human rights abuses are not occurring
  • Commit to not use factories that use forced Uyghur labour and confirm how they will monitor their supply chains to ensure that is the case
  • End any commercial relationship with any Chinese company that is involved in the use of forced labour anywhere in its own supply chain (even if not used on their brand’s products)

Big business can’t stand by whilst huge scale human rights abuses are happening on their watch – they need to prove that they are taking action now.

You can read our letters to the CEOs of the brands of shame here.

UPDATE: Read the replies from some of the brands here