After more than 70 years of Chinese rule over the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, there’s mounting evidence that in recent years, their occupation has intensified into an environment of strict surveillance, with more than a million Uighurs held in internment camps.
Reports show many are forced to pick cotton and work in factories that supply international brands and that some Uighurs are even subjected to forced sterilizations and organ harvesting.
For several years, Beijing repeatedly denied those allegations, while companies like Nike said they’ve made sure they’re not using Uighur slave labor. But some recent developments suggest 2021 may see a breakthrough in the Uighurs’ long struggle for justice, with help from a new group of international lawmakers.
“I’m accusing the Chinese authorities of the worst crime of the 21st century. I am also accusing the international community for being a part of this crime, for abetting it through its silence,” European Parliament Member Raphaël Glucksmann of France said during a Dec. 17 debate, through an interpreter. “I’m also accusing Nike and other multinational corporations that are taking advantage of slavery.”
#IPAC coordinator @lukedepulford speaks to PRI @TheWorld on IPAC efforts to pursue legal judgements on suspected genocide against Uyghurs through the International Criminal Court and the UK parliament.https://t.co/5zvvBYXewD
— Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (@ipacglobal) December 22, 2020