Apple is being Questioned about Suspicious Chinese Suppliers which are using Forced Labor in their Supply Chains

Apple, the giant tech corporation which has many suppliers of their devices from China’s Xinjiang region, are being suspected of using forced labor in their supply chains.

With the enforcement of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the United States, Apple is in question for a few sections under this law. The Uyghur Force Labor Prevention Act stops any US company from importing goods from China’s Xinjiang region. Companies which have been importing these goods will face serious consequences unless they can clear up that their imports don’t have any forced labor being done by any ethnic minorities living in the region. While the law did come into effect at the end of last year, it was not enforced until a few days ago.

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is reported to inflict forced labor upon certain ethnic minorities including Turkic Uyghur people. China’s authorities have been suspected of committing heinous acts upon ethnic minorities including forced sterilization, abortion and contraception. There’s a lot of evidence to support these theories and some even accuse these authorities of committing genocide upon many ethnic people. These people are imprisoned in re-education camps and poverty alleviation programs where they’re forced to work under harsh conditions.

Coming back to the present, Apple has been accused of using suppliers from Xinjiang region suspected of inflicting forced labor on minorities in their supply chains. While Apple has denied these accusations completely by saying they have absolutely no tolerance for forced labor and racism. They have further provided evidence which shows Apple conducts surprise audits of every supplier to see if there’s anyone violating the company’s policy.

But these audits aren’t to be believed because they include interviews with laborers. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because the authorities which are forcing labor on these minorities could be using threats against them and their families to prevent them from answering these questions out of fear.

Apple did ask for some changes to be made in the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act which includes increasing compliance deadlines, releasing information to congress rather than the public and lastly, to pass on the responsibility of identifying Chinese companies which are using forced labor to the US government, rather than buyers such as Apple. All of these changes were denied by the US government.

Furthermore, the Tech Transparency Project or TTP supports this decision, that the companies should be held accountable and has advised against using audits to ensure there’s no forced labor in the supply chains because these audits are laughably unreliable as stated by the TTP.

The Uyghur Force Labor Prevention Act is also targeting Nike and Gap for treading lightly as they could get in trouble if there’s any imports coming from this region of China.

Apple and any other company importing goods from the Xinjiang region of China is advised to completely cut off all dealings with these companies which are accused of using forced labor. This is the only way for them to be completely safe from any consequences.

H/T: 9to5Mac.
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