News 20 September 2020

H&M cut ties with Chinese supplier over forced labour claims in the Xinjiang region

20 September 2020

H&M has cut ties with their Chinese supplier over forced and slave labour claims in the Xinjiang region.

The Xinjiang conflict is slowly being unearthed in the mainstream media. The treatment of Uighur Muslims in the country infringes on human rights and freedoms across the board – with an estimated 1 million Uighur Muslims sent to camps every day.

Activists have accused the camps of abuse, torture and enslaved labour and sexual assault – with reports of victims being forced to eat pork, drink alcohol and endure sterilisation.

The US has said that they will stop exports from the Xinjiang over this and now, H&M has said that they will no longer source yarn and cotton form the region.

H&M said, “While there are no indications for forced labour in the Shangyu mill, we have decided to, until we get more clarity around allegations of forced labour, phase out our indirect business relationship with Huafu Fashion Co, regardless of unit and province, within the next 12 months.”

China recently defended the camps in a lengthy document white paper.

They said, “Xinjiang has built a large knowledge-based, skilled and innovative workforce that meets the requirements of the new era” and insisted that the “vocational education and training” has countered terrorism and poverty.

Human rights groups have refuted these claims.