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BEIJING – A damning new report has offered the clearest evidence yet that the Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands, with names from the apparel industry heavily implicated, including Nike, Gap and adidas.

The researchers visited a Nike factory in Shandong province that employs hundreds of Uyghurs who were sent there by the government to work under close surveillance. At the factory, workers attend organised mandarin studies and “patriotic education”.

The research identifies 83 foreign and Chinese companies directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uyghur workers outside Xinjiang through potentially abusive labour transfer programes as recently as 2019. Among apparel brands cited are Puma, H&M, Nike, adidas, Lacoste, The North Face, Zara and Ralph Lauren.

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