China, the communist nation infamous for controversies and not taking care of human rights, was in the news for the infamous concentration camps that date back to when the country started re-educating the youth; they were officially called the Vocational Education Training centers by the Government of China.
Yet again, in the year of chaos 2020, China has captured the attention of the world as reports claim on the country building 260-380 or more concentration camps, which are proof of “pure evil.” According to a recent investigation, the country spent the last three years, encompassing millions of square feet for the deed.
China has built more than 100 new facilities in Xinjiang where it can not only lock people up but force them into hard labor in dedicated factories right on the side of the camps, according to the satellite images. The camps are a hallmark of prisons or detention camps, many built during the last three years in a rapid escalation of China’s campaign against Muslim minorities, including Uighurs, Kazakhs, and others. The recent investigation showed ugly pictures of forced labor in the region “slander.” Xinjiang’s industry is booming, and the region has one of the fastest GDP growth rates in China.
The region exports goods ranging from clothing to machinery, which make their way into the hands of consumers in India, the US, the UK, and other huge economies. As the new spread wide, companies like Apple, Nike, and Coca-Cola, and others, lobbied Congress this year to water down a bill that would ban the import of products made with forced labor there. (Apple has said it did not try to weaken the measure, and Nike has said it “did not lobby against” it.) The bill was passed with a full majority in the house, but the Senate is yet to discuss it.
Scott Nova, the executive director of the Worker Rights Consortium, stated that it’s high time that Corporations should stop producing in and sourcing in Xinjiang, and thus, there is no way to produce responsibly in the region until the forced labor and broader repression ends.
Despite these measures, the experts also say that the forced labor camps are so widespread in the region that no company in true essence claim that its supply chain is free from the cruelty being enforced in Xinjiang and that the customers in the US, India, and other countries really have no way of knowing if the goods they are purchasing are not tainted by Xinjiang.
Detention camp factories are woven deeply into Xinjiang’s economy. An article in the state-controlled China News Service said the company’s workers at its Hejing branch were laboring overtime to fulfill a clothing order for protective coveralls, having already skipped a vacation that the factory manager said was offered last year. The workers also attend “bilingual night school” to learn Chinese. Every Monday, they hold a flag-raising ceremony and sing the praises of the Communist Party’s policies as well as “socialist thought with Chinese characteristics in the Xi Jinping new era.
Although the Chinese officials never confirmed the presence, there have been many pieces of research, case studies, and accounts of people who confirm the extremities of the camps, forced labor, and how widespread the ends are.
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