BEIJING — The U.S. government said Tuesday that it is reviewing reports of forced
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that reporting by The Associated Press and other media "for the first time appears to link the internment camps identified in Western China to the importation of goods produced by forced
The AP tracked shipments from a factory in a camp in China's far western Xinjiang region to Badger Sportswear in North Carolina. The company ships clothing to universities, colleges and schools around the United States.
Experts and a human rights organization say that possibly as many as 1 million Uighurs, Kazakhs and others from predominantly Muslim groups are arbitrarily detained in such camps, whose functions range from political indoctrination to forced
Following the recent news media reports, Badger said that it had suspended business with Chinese supplier Hetian Taida Apparel and was investigating. A statement on its
The Washington-based Workers Rights Consortium (WRC), which has agreements with many educational institutions to make sure the products they sell on campus are ethically manufactured, said that "forced
The group's executive director, Scott Nova, said in a message to affiliate universities that, building off the AP's report, WRC had gathered additional evidence indicating the factory that supplied Badger with collegiate apparel was "one and the same" as the factory inside the highly-guarded internment compound seen by AP reporters.
The factory was featured on a Chinese state television segment in October that characterized the camp as a vocational training
The state-run China Daily published an article on Tuesday which profiled ethnic minorities in Xinjiang who have been recruited to work in garment factories. The story featured a 23-year-old woman named Burebgul Ali who was described as being "reluctant to work at the factory."
"But after skills training and learning Mandarin," the story said, "Burebgul found her job quite comfortable and could make at least 3,000 yuan ($435) per month."
The AP spoke to a dozen former detainees and individuals who had friends or family in similar
It's against U.S. law to import products of forced
Mendoza reported from Santa Cruz, California.
Martha Mendoza And Yanan Wang, The Associated Press