URAP Press Release  on Uyghur Forced Labour tainted Solar Energy Industries

May 14, 2021

Immediate Release

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

Mehmet Tohti

Executive Director

Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project

www.urap.ca/ secure@urap.ca/ 613 261 8512

URAP Press Release on Uyghur Forced Labour tainted Solar Energy Industries