CFU PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 10:00 AM ET
Sabrina Sohail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) calls for immediate attention to new findings by Dr. Adrian Zenz, Senior Fellow and Director in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, who has unveiled evidence implicating major corporations, including Volkswagen, in the systemic, state-imposed forced labor practices suffered by the Uyghurs.
First disclosed at a conference in Germany marking 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reported on by the German outlet Table and highlighted by Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, Dr. Zenz’s findings reveal Uyghurs’ gruesome journey to forced labor within China’s concentration camp system, which are misleadingly labeled as “re-education” camps by the Chinese communist regime.
According to new research presented by Dr. Zenz, Uyghurs in concentration camps are forced into educational paths that lead to employment at companies such as FAW-Volkswagen, which have been revealed to cooperate with vocational schools receiving Uyghur concentration camp victims to fill their factories “with graduate employees.” New documents from the Xinjiang Police Files and other internal documents indicate direct links between these corporations and vocational training institutions, where interned Uyghurs are forcibly sent for training. Notable institutions like Xinjiang Light Industry Technical College and Xinjiang Vocational University, which have direct and established cooperation with FAW-Volkswagen, are implicated in these findings.
Following the paths of Mr. Adiljan Hashim and Mr. Akpar Eblet, Uyghur victims of China’s extermination campaign in East Turkistan, to demonstrate the conditions in which multinational corporations and renowned brands operate inside China’s genocide machine, Dr. Zenz noted that “re-educated and coerced Uyghurs can likely end up working for larger companies such as FAW-Volkswagen in Xinjiang. This risk cannot be ascertained through audits, since Uyghurs are not free to speak about camp and re-education experiences.”
This fresh evidence intensifies the grave concerns about the involvement of multinational corporations in crimes against humanity and other gross human rights violations within East Turkistan. In his remarks at the panel, Dr. Zenz reminded that the scale of the internment of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in the region constitutes the largest system of state-forced labor since the Second World War, affecting over two million individuals.
The intertwining of forced labor and vocational training in East Turkistan has created a complex system where corporations may knowingly or unknowingly contribute to human rights abuses.
Commenting on the findings, Rushan Abbas, Executive Director of CFU, strongly condemned companies still involved in the heinous crimes of state-imposed human trafficking and forced labor perpetrated against the Uyghur people and urged an immediate disengagement from doing business in or with East Turkistan: “These damning revelations demonstrate that there is absolutely no room for companies to plead ignorance regarding the origins of profits made in East Turkistan, which come from the blood, sweat, and tears of the Uyghur people. Such acts must stop!”
“It is not enough to simply acknowledge the suffering of the Uyghurs from a distance. We need concrete action. Time is running out for these companies if they do not want China’s crimes against humanity to become theirs: They must divest and disengage now. Given the fact that it is impossible for international missions and audits to ascertain the true conditions of Uyghur workers due to China’s repressive regime, immediate withdrawal and disengagement from the region is the only possible, ethical solution for companies which would otherwise run the risk of being complicit in the Uyghur Genocide,” Abbas noted.
CFU reinforces the urgent need for corporate disengagement from East Turkistan to adhere to international law and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We remind all entities of their moral, ethical, and legal obligations to confront these crimes against humanity. This revelation is a call to action, particularly for governments and international organizations to provide accountability, and for corporations with business ties in the region to reassess their operations and supply chains in light of these serious human rights concerns. We urge corporations, governments, stakeholders, and individuals to listen to survivors, respect international reports, and unite in holding China accountable for its crimes against the Uyghur people.