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LONDON – A legal petition has been filed in the High Court of England and Wales which claims the UK authorities are failing to prevent the importation of cotton goods produced with forced labour in Xinjiang, China. The challenge claims such goods continue to freely enter the UK despite well documented and widespread use of forced labour involving Uyghur people in China’s cotton industry.

The UK Government has acknowledged issues around forced labour in Xinjiang but, unlike the authorities in the US, appears reluctant to enforce regulations in this area by, for instance, withholding imports which have suspected links to forced labour. By contrast, in the US, the border control authorities have seized over 1,400 containers, many of them containing textiles and cotton, due to concerns around links with forced labour in Xinjiang.

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