Auto Giants Exposed for Using Uyghur Forced Labor

Author: By Uyghur Times Staff

MAY 20,2024

Opening: Major automakers have been caught importing cars, parts, and components to the United States that were produced using forced labor from the Uyghur region (Aka East Turkistan), according to a damning Senate investigation.

Location: Washington, D.C.

The two-year probe by the Democratic staff of the Senate Finance Committee, led by Chair Ron Wyden, uncovered shocking gaps in automakers’ supply chain oversight. Companies like BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volkswagen AG were found to have shipped vehicles or sourced parts containing components from Chinese supplier Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group Co., Ltd. (JWD), which was banned in December 2023 under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) for using forced labor of Uyghurs.

Actors and Opposite Stance: While Volkswagen had previously disclosed using banned parts, the investigation revealed BMW imported thousands of vehicles with JWD components after the ban. Initially, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover denied sourcing from JWD but later admitted to it after repeated questioning.

“Automakers are sticking their heads in the sand and then swearing they can’t find any forced labor in their supply chains,” Wyden criticized.

Ignored Voice:
The report sheds light on the plight of Uyghur minorities subjected to forced labor, often in harsh conditions, to produce goods for global supply chains. Their stories of exploitation and human rights violations have largely been ignored or overlooked by major corporations.

Background: The use of forced labor, particularly involving the Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang region, has been a longstanding issue. The UFLPA, enacted in 2021, aimed to strengthen enforcement against imports linked to forced labor. However, as the Senate investigation revealed, automakers have failed to adequately monitor their supply chains, allowing banned components to slip through. This raises concerns about the effectiveness of existing laws and the commitment of companies to upholding human rights standards in their operations.


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