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Apple, Nike, and other major companies allegedly using labor linked to Muslim Uighur slave trade in China: Report

It's been going on for years

The posters on the wall alongside the Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co. factory -- the side where the Uighur workers enter and exit, and live in dorms -- which feature Communist Party propaganda posters extolling Xis China dream. "Uphold national spirit to unite and make all of China strong." Another says: All ethnicities are united as one family. (Anna Fifield/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Dozens of companies, including major American corporations like Apple and Nike, are using workers and factories tied to the slave trade of Muslim Uighur people who are held in concentration camps in northwest China, according to a report by Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Between 2017 and 2019, an estimated 80,000 Uighurs were transferred from the autonomous Chinese province of Xinjiang to work in factories in other parts of China, while living in segregated dormitories and continuing to be subject to indoctrination efforts by the communist Chinese government.

More than one million Muslim Uighurs have been detained in what the Chinese government calls "vocational education centers," but which really amount to detention or concentration camps, where they are forced to renounce their religion and submit in all ways to the Chinese government.

According to the ASPI report, the indoctrination effort is moving to a new phase in which most of the detainees have "graduated" and are now being sent to work in factories throughout China, sometimes producing goods sold by some of the most prominent American companies:

The Chinese government has facilitated the mass transfer of Uyghur and other ethnic minority citizens from the far west region of Xinjiang to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen.

The ASPI report alleges that local government officials and private brokers are paid on a per-head basis by the Xinjiang provincial government for facilitating the transfer of workers from detention camps to factories for forced-labor assignments.

Apple addressed the report in a statement to ABC News:

"Apple is dedicated to ensuring that everyone in our supply chain is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve," the statement said, "We have not seen this report but we work closely with all our suppliers to ensure our high standards are upheld."

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