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EU, government to end association with Uighur suppliers


The European Union and European governments aim to work multilaterally to end transnational companies' operations with suppliers in China's Uighur region. Across the continent legislators, government officials, the media, academics, and non-governmental organizations have expressed their dissatisfaction. Europeans are questioning their governments about forced sterilizations, organ harvesting, and trade with China. They are also calling for action on the issue of Uighur forced labor where Europe can make a definitive impact.

Several well-sourced reports have exposed the stain of Uighur forced labor, including research from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). A recent CSIS briefing noted apparel and footwear as being the leading exports from the Uighur region with a combined value of $6.3billion, representing over 35 percent of total exports.

On July 23, a coalition of over 250 organizations urged leading brands and retailers to ensure that they do not support or benefit from the pervasive and extensive forced labor of the Uighur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority peoples. In response, Adidas and Lacoste agreed to cut ties with implicated suppliers and subcontractors.