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China uses Uyghur labourers to produce COVID-19 PPE kits for export

ANI | Updated: Jul 20, 2020 14:59 IST

Beijing [China], July 20 (ANI): As the coronavirus cases continue to surge globally, the Chinese companies are using Uyghur labourers through contentious government-sponsored programme to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) both for domestic purpose and export, the New York Times reported.
Under the government-sponsored programme, the Uyghurs and other ethnic people are sent to factories and other service jobs.
According to an investigation conducted by the NYT, as many as 71 companies are part of the programme.

While the programme is stated to be a poverty reduction initiative, the workers are forced to learn Mandarin and even pledge their loyalty to the Beijing government at weekly flag-raising ceremonies.
The NYT findings noted that the products made in these factories are even exported to the US.
It further stated that there are quotas on the number of workers put into the government-sponsored labour programme and there are also penalties for those not willing to participate.
"There are these coercive quotas that cause people to be put into factory work when they don't want to be," Amy K. Lehr, the Director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, was quoted as saying. "And that could be considered forced labour under international law." (ANI)