Recent reports that the government of China has been forcing members of the Muslim minority Uyghur community to labour in the supply chains of western companies have raised a series of questions for other governments and individual businesses about how to respond to such an egregious violation of international human rights law standards.
Annachiara Biondi from Vogue Business has covered the story with a focus on the cotton supply and fashion retailers, and they have turned to Essex Law School’s Dr. Tara Van Ho for guidance on the appropriate standards to be employed.
In a September 2020 article, Dr. Van Ho helped explain the differences between the EU and US approaches to the revelations. In a January 2021 article, she considered the legitimacy and adequacy of the UK’s new controls.
As Dr. Van Ho explains in the January article, the severity of the alleged violations in Xinjiang call for a strong response to ensure that UK companies are not contributing to the violations by using forced labour in their supply chains. Measures announced by the UK government last month, Dr. Van Ho concludes, are not yet strong enough.