In a Westminster Hall debate on China’s treatment of the Uyghurs on Monday evening (12th October), Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon and Lib Dem Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, named and shamed companies whose supply chains are allegedly connected to the human rights abuses.
Layla called on the Government to impose Magnitsky-style sanctions on state and non-state individuals connected to the genocide and associated abuses but made the point that “we all have power because we are all consumers.”
She then asked the Minister to look at doing more to force companies operating in the UK to do due diligence on human rights in their supply chains, saying: “We are doing it with forests; we can do it with human rights.”
It’s estimated that one in five cotton products produced in the world touch the forced labour supply chain, which allegedly includes brands such as Uniqlo, H&M and Zara. Additionally, a report by ASPI on Uyghurs relocated across China to work under force in factories names companies including Apple and Nintendo whose supply chains are implicated.
Layla Moran said: “We all have power as consumers when it comes to human rights abuses. I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of emails from some of the companies I named – but it’s on them to prove their supply chains don’t use forced labour or support human rights abuses, and to take action if they do.
“In the debate yesterday we were all – apart from the Minister – in agreement that more action needs to be taken. So I used my three minutes to name and shame some of the companies who seem to be involved. I hope that adds to the public pressure on them.
“So let’s all take action, but let’s also make sure the Government does more to impose sanctions and punish companies implicit in human rights abuses and even genocide in China. We can’t delay any longer.”