By Oisin Sweeney • 10 January 2021 • 21:57
The cotton industry in China's Xinjiang Province is of particular concern to human rights activists - Image Source: Twitter
UK FOREIGN SECRETARY Dominic Raab will announce plans for the UK to crackdown on companies linked to forced labour in China.
Dominic Raab is to address concerns raised by human rights activists regarding British complicity in the use of forced labour in China’s Xinjiang province. More requirements are expected to be imposed on companies that buy goods from the region alongside possible sanctions on Chinese officials believed to be involved in the widescale abuse.
The foreign secretary’s comments are expected to bristle China, whose outgoing ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said last week that relations between the two powerful nations “depend on whether the UK sees China as a partner or a rival, respects China’s core interests and major concerns, and abides by the basic norms governing international relations, including non-interference in each other’s internal affairs”.
In 2020, a coalition of over 180 human rights groups published blasted some of the world’s top fashion brands for their complicity in forced labour and other abuses against the Uighur population of north west China.
Top brands including Adidas, Gap, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are included in a published list of companies connected to the humanitarian crisis.
Despite the increasingly publicised torture, sterilisation, and internment of the Muslim minority Uyghur group, it is believed by human rights activists that one in five cotton products sold globally are the product of forced labour in the Xinjiang region.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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