Wed, 26 Jan 2022

Amsterdam [Netherlands], December 2 (ANI): The European Center for Constitutional Rights (ECCHR) submitted a criminal complaint against several Dutch and US textile and fashion brands that have their European headquarters in the Netherlands.

ECCHR, in a release, said brands like Nike, CA and State of Art may have been directly or indirectly complicit in the forced labour of members of the Uyghur population in China's Xinjiang province.

They ask the Dutch Public Prosecutor to investigate the corporations' alleged complicity in human rights violations that could amount to crimes against humanity, the release added.

"The choice to not only focus on national criminal law regarding labour exploitation but to broaden the complaint to crimes against humanity, underlines the scale of the crimes that are committed in Xinjian and aligns with statements from politicians and NGOs that have qualified the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang as genocide and crimes against humanity," said Barbara van Straaten, Human Rights Lawyer, Prakken d'Oliveira.

Scores of reports about torture, re-education camps, and forced labour in the Xinjiang region in China have increased in frequency since 2017.

The Chinese government systematically persecutes the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang, according to Amnesty International. Tens of thousands are allegedly forced to harvest cotton and manufacture clothing - which are also sold on the European market.

Research reports, as well as publicly available supply chain information disclosed by the investigated brands, explicitly state that the companies have suppliers with production facilities in Xinjiang, according to ECCHR.

"It is unacceptable that European governments criticize China for human rights violations while these companies possibly profit from the exploitation of the Uyghur population. It is high time that responsible corporate officers are investigated and - if necessary - held to account," says Corina Ajder, Legal Advisor, ECCHR. (ANI)

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