May 14, 2021
Today the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University has published report with chilling reminder titled: “ In Broad Daylight, Uyghur Forced Labour and Global Supply Chain with the collaboration of The End Uyghur Forced Labour Coalition.
The report highlights the harsh reality of Global Solar Energy industries and its nose-to-toe association of the Uyghur forced labour in East Turkistan.
According to the report, numbers are shocking and staggering:
- 2.6 Million Uyghur, Kazakh have been displaced from their homes and sent to places within East Turkestan and throughout China through China’s state sponsored labour transfer initiative which is tantamount to forced transfer of population and enslavement.
- 95% of solar modules rely on one primary material – solar-grade polysilicon.
- Polysilicon manufacturers in the Uyghur Region account for approximately 45% of the world’s solar-grade polysilicon supply.
Chinese companies have been directly engaged in forced labour transfers
- 90 Chinese and Global companies are tainted with Uyghur Forced Labour in their supply chains.
- Canadian solar companies are among those who are part of Uyghur forced labour.
The report has painted grim picture about entire solar industries and their operations, from attracting raw materials to Polysilicon, Ingots, Wafers, Cells and Models, each line of Solar Panel production and how the China’s and global companies have been positioned in their participation to each step of the whole process.
The report exposes the deep ties of the Canadian Solar, based in Guelph, Ontario and Jinko Solar energy that has main office in Markham, Ontario to the forced Uyghur labour in its operation, especially in the supply chain operations of Ingots, Wafers, Cells and Models.
However, the report, based on corporate disclosures, made it clear that energy companies, developers, governments, and individual consumers have been buying solar panels that are at high risk of being at the end of a supply chain tainted by forced labour in the Uyghur Region.
The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Forced Labour Convention of 1930 defines forced or compulsory labour as:
“all work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily,”
and in 1957 they further prohibited member states from employing compulsory labour:
(a) as a means of political coercion or education or as a punishment for holding or expressing political views or views ideologically opposed to the established political, social or economic system;
(b) as a method of mobilizing and using labour for purposes of economic development;
(c) as a means of labour discipline; • (d) as a punishment for having participated in strikes;
(e) as a means of racial, social, national or religious discrimination.
The Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project expects the government of Canada and all responsible governments to realize that, as the evidence precisely presented in this report, the CCP’s labour transfer program in East Turkistan is intended to mass punishment of Uyghurs and other Turkic people with slavery regime because of their race and religion.
State-run Uyghur forced labour program has become a tool of prosecution with the creation of the environment that no Uyghurs could refuse to participate without risk of being sent to Concentration camps or lengthy imprisonment.
As a signatory for ILO convention, Canada must comply with all fundamental principles of the ILO and push for the abolition of Uyghur slavery.
Despite its membership and obligation to uphold the fundamental principles of ILO convention, the China’s government clearly trampled down the core provisions of the convention by investing and building the vast regime of compulsory labour that was not seen in recent history.
It is important for Canada to take the lead on this critical issue to investigate the crimes committed by the government of China as part of its international responsibility.
Canada should re-visit the Advisory issued on January 12, 2021, make necessary amendments and create an enforceable mechanism to clean up Canadian market and energy sector from the Uyghur forced labour tainted products.
the Canadian parliament must introduce clear legislation to address the dire situation of Uyghur forced labour in the Cotton, Tomato and Solar energy sectors and prohibit those products from reaching the Canadian consumer market.
For more information
Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
www.urap.ca/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ 613 261 8512