Written Question: The forced labour of Uyghurs in China and the upcoming human rights due diligence legislation

(Source: European Parliament)

Date Submitted: 5 May 2021

Question for written answer E-002412/2021

to the Commission

Rule 138

Raphaël Glucksmann (S&D)

Subject: The forced labour of Uyghurs in China and the upcoming human rights due diligence legislation

In reaction to the evidence of systematic forced labour of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang and the severe human rights violations perpetrated against them, European companies have made commitments to stop sourcing cotton produced in the region and stop subcontracting work to factories that use forced labour.

Global fashion brands, including European companies, are now facing commercial retaliation in China. Several are being cyber-harassed and pressured into reneging on their commitments. Some brands have removed public statements and backed down from previous commitments as a result, which clearly shows how fragile corporate commitments are when they are not backed by carefully monitored and enforced legal obligations.

Can you confirm that in the upcoming legislative proposal on sustainable corporate governance, including human rights due diligence:

1. due diligence obligations will encompass entire value chains, starting from the sourcing of raw materials;

2. obligations for companies to implement concrete measures to mitigate and remediate possible violations in their supply chains will be included;

3. an obligation for companies to map their value chains and disclose relevant information will be included, and transparency standards will be imposed?

Without these elements, the proposal will be powerless and ineffective in ending the forced labour of Uyghurs.

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