Outside of their work, Uighur Muslims must attend Mandarin Chinese and ideology lessons, live in segregation, and do not have the right to participate in “religious observances.”
Rabat – Muslim Uighurs in China are working in factories across the country “under conditions that strongly suggest forced labor,” the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) revealed in a report on Sunday.
After “graduating” from the detention camps China calls re-education centers, tens of thousands of Uighurs are working in Chinese factories under strict surveillance.
The report conservatively estimates that China transferred 80,000 Uighurs from the western Xinjiang region, where they live, to nine other provinces between 2017 and 2019. The Xinjiang government is actually paying brokers and local governments to give Uighurs labor assignments.
ASPI explains the Uighur Muslims must attend Mandarin Chinese and ideology lessons outside of work, live in segregation, and are not permitted to participate in “religious observances.”
The institute identified 27 factories where the Uighurs are working outside of Xinjiang. The factories supply 83 international companies, including Amazon, Apple, Bombardier, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Samsung, and Volkswagen.
China has been rounding up its Muslim citizens for more than three years, placing as many as 1 million in detention camps. The Chinese government says the camps are voluntary education centers to combat religious extremism.
Leaked Communist party documents revealed China’s policy on the camps in November 2019.
The leaked documents included a 2017 memo with instructions that camp staff must “strictly manage and control student activities to prevent escapes during class, eating periods, toilet breaks, bath time, medical treatment, family visits, etc.”
Two weeks after the leak, a Chinese official said all the students at the camps had “graduated.” “Trainees participating in education and training programs of standard spoken and written Chinese, understanding of the law, vocational skills and deradicalization … in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region,” Xinhua reported, “have all graduated.”
ASPI believes the government is now transferring Uighur Muslims to factories for forced labor as part of a second phase of “education.”