Why Businesses Should Care about the Use of Forced Labor in Xinjiang

by Mark P. Lagon and Olivia Enos

The world was shocked when reports emerged in late 2017 that several hundred thousand, now likely over one million, individuals from the Xinjiang region of China were being held in so-called political “reeducation” facilities. As more information surfaces, the reality of what is going on there couldn’t be further from educational. Instead, an unknown number of individuals may be subject to forced labor, among other abuses, simply for being a Muslim living in Xinjiang, China.

China occasionally acknowledges and at other times denies the existence of reeducation facilities in Xinjiang, but their existence is frankly, undeniable. Satellite imagery and firsthand testimony from dozens of individuals previously in these facilities provides irrefutable evidence of their existence. When authorities in the Chinese government do acknowledge their existence, however, they often claim that they are de-radicalizing a population by what they call “Sinicizing,” or effectively secularizing, their religious practice, requiring them to learn Mandarin, and providing alternative means of employment.

This is an excerpt of an article published at Thomson Reuters. To read the full article, please click here.