Activists are calling on brands like Nike and Apple to cut ties with suppliers using forced labor from China's Uighur people.
Reports by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) and the US Congress have found that thousands of Uighurs have been transferred to work in factories across China. Under the conditions, the ASPI report said, 'strongly suggest forced labor.' ASPI linked those factories to more than 80 high-profile brands, including Nike, Apple, and Gap.
Activists have launched a campaign accusing firms of 'bolstering and benefiting' from the exploitation of the Muslim minority group. The US has also ramped up economic pressure, warning firms against doing business in Xinjiang due to the abuses.
In response, Nike said after it confronted one of its suppliers, Taekwang Group, about the issue, the firm stopped recruiting employees from Xinjiang at one of its factories. They are looking further into the matter. Apple said it had not found any problems, despite conducting several surprise audits of its long-time supplier O-Film - one of the firms cited by the US Commerce Department.