Forced labor of Uyghurs: the automobile industry in turmoil

Several manufacturers are accused of having used forced Uyghur labour after having supplied themselves in China for steel, aluminium or even batteries for their cars.


The list is long: Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Tesla, Ford and General Motors, Toyota and Honda, Stellantis and its brands Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, use materials such as aluminum, steel and products such as batteries or electronics for their vehicles, manufactured in China. And this is in the context of forced labor of Uyghurs, according to the British University of Sheffield Hallam.


“If you bought a car in the last five years, some of its parts were probably made by Uyghurs, forced to work” assures the study conducted by the British university, after six months of investigation. The academics relied on sources such as annual reports of companies, but also government guidelines and Chinese state media and customs records.


The investigation in question points to the use of forced labor in Xinjiang in multiple sectors, from PVC building materials, to solar panels. “The world’s largest steel and aluminum producers have moved to the Uighur region thanks to Chinese government subsidies and incentives,” it reveals. China has been accused by human rights organizations of forced “labor transfers” to work in international supply chains in various sectors.



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Featured photo : © BMW


Hélène Cougot
Hélène Cougot
Passionate about art and fashion, Hélène went to a fashion design school: the Atelier Chardon-Savard. She then completed her training with an MBA in Marketing at ISG. She has written for the magazine Do it in Paris and specializes in writing articles about luxury, art and fashion for Luxus +.

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