“The happiest Muslims in the world” is the absurd saying issued by the Chinese government describing the estimated one million Uyghur Muslims held in detention camps in Xinjiang, China. In the past few years, Uyghurs and Turkic Muslim minorities have been disappearing into what the Chinese government formally labels as “re-education camps.” In these camps there has been evidence that exploitative forced labor is occurring. The factories that Uyghurs work at in Xinjiang, have been proven to supply chain ties to some of the most popular U.S. fashion brands such as ZARA, Calvin Klein (PVH), and Victoria’s Secret (L brands). Many of these companies currently do not have any clear plans to disassociate themselves. To combat the human rights violations that restrict the freedoms of the Uyghurs, we explore specific ties to supply chains from Xinjiang and the use of Uyghur forced labor. Our report will examine specifically how supply chain tracing in the industry is conducted. Pressuring the government to reveal answers requires targeted arguments about how they are failing to uphold the law. Specifically, for over 90 years, U.S. legislation through the Tariff Act of 1930 has explicitly made it illegal to import “goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor” into the United States. Companies are getting away with goods tied to Xinjiang whether it is intentional or not. The purpose of this research is to uncover undeniable, indisputable evidence and information of forced labor in which groups and nations can utilize to further investigate their own supply chains. In understanding which factories and companies display red flags, there is an opportunity for change in practices to begin starting in the U.S., then on a global scale.
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Chandra, Kandice; Roy, Zarina; and Farriss, Summer, "Connecting Uyghur Forced Labor to the Fashion Industries" (2021). Research Days Posters 2021. 58.