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XINJING – New evidence from China suggests that upwards of half a million Uyghur minority workers a year are being marshalled into picking cotton by hand through a coercive state-mandated labour transfer and “poverty alleviation” scheme, with potentially drastic consequences for global supply chains.

Previously, evidence for forced labor in Xinjiang related only to low-skilled manufacturing, including the production of textiles and apparel. However, the new findings offer evidence for coercion specifically related to cotton picking. These findings have much wider implications, affecting all supply chains that involve Xinjiang cotton as a raw material.

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