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Calls For Australia To Ban Electronics And Clothing Linked To Chinese Forced Labour

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Calls For Australia To Ban Electronics And Clothing Linked To Chinese Forced Labour

A campaign has begun to get Australia to ban all products that have been made from Chinese forced labour camps.

South Australian independent Senator Rex Patrick believes the country needs to take a stand against items that are being created in China that go against fair work practices.

The Australian Strategic Institute released a report earlier this year that warned major companies like Apple, Nike, Adidas and Uniqlo were using materials in their products that came from forced labour camps in China.

The Asian superpower has been accused of rounding up hundreds of thousands of Uyghur people and sending them to internment camps.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

It's believed tens of thousands of those Uyghurs have since been sent to factories to churn out products for China to sell to companies.

That alleged reality has caused Senator Patrick to ask Australia to stop importing items like electronics or clothing that have come from these camps.

According to the ABC, he said: "We've seen a million Uyghurs locked up in China in internment camps, and they've been locked up for political purposes,"

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"And now 80,000 of them have been moved into factories being used for slave labour to pay for that internment.

"I think some consumers are aware of slavery, and they're also aware of our laws that now try to stamp that out. Unfortunately, those laws don't capture everything."

China has hit back at the claims that tens of thousands of people are being forced into mandatory labour factories and instead say the buildings are 'training facilities'.

A shipment of wigs was intercepted by US authorities earlier this year on suspicions the fibres were actually human hair that came from some of the Uyghur people in internment camps.

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America has started to blacklist companies that have links to human rights abuses and Senator Patrick believes something similar needs to happen in Australia.

Two years ago, legislation was introduced that required companies with an annual turnover of more than $100 million to explain how they were fighting slave labour.

Senator Patrick hopes to strengthen those rules and is planning on introducing a private senator's bill.

"I think the Government would find support in Labor, certainly amongst members of the crossbench," he said.

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"We will also need legislation to directly ban these products for companies that are making turnovers less than that $100 million threshold," he said.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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