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LONDON –  Lawyers and campaigners have written to the UK government urging them to ban imports of cotton sourced from the Chinese province of Xinjiang where Uighur Muslims are being forced to work in factories and cotton fields under conditions of forced labour.

In a 60-page document submission, numerous sources are cited which demonstrate the widespread use of forced labour involving China’s Uyghur people in its cotton industry. The document names brands including Muji, Uniqlo, Ikea and H&M.

The campaigners argue that current imports involve forced labour on such a scale that they violate UK laws prohibiting the importation of prison-made goods, and should be halted by the UK’s customs authorities.

The US has already begun taking similar steps.

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