The International Republican Institute and the Italian Federation For Human Rights Release MADE IN SLAVERY

A New Podcast Exposing China’s Scheme to Detain, Brainwash, and Enslave Uyghurs in Xinjiang While Profiteering.

Made in Slavery is a four-episode podcast that reveals the intricate schemes through which the People’s Republic of China (PRC) leverages global market brands to exploit the forced labor of Uyghurs, a Turkish-speaking Muslim minority living in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. The podcast was written by Eleonora Mongelli, human rights expert and Vice President of the Italian Federation for Human Rights (FIDU). The updated English version of the podcast was created in partnership with the International Republican Institute (IRI), FIDU, and Solent University.

The podcast gathers firsthand accounts of Uyghur forced labor, such as former prisoner Gulbahar Jalilova, and contributions from experts including Daria Impiombato, Researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), and Ciara Berry, Policy and Research Coordinator at Fashion Revolution. Each episode recounts a different aspect of the violent and growing repression of the Uyghurs and exposes the complicity of well-known international brands in practices of outright slavery facilitated by Chinese government-sponsored programs. Furthermore, the podcast explains how international brands are involved directly or indirectly in these forced labor schemes through PRC-sponsored programs and unclear supply chain mechanisms that do not allow them to monitor exactly where goods are produced.

Sometimes, even when international companies are aware of forced labor schemes behind the production of the goods they sell, they do not seem to care enough to provide solutions. These companies, as well as the PRC, strengthen their economic power and international market presence thanks to the profits derived from the use of Uyghur forced labor, extremely low-cost production and supply chains that have been opaque until now. According to estimates provided by researcher Adrian Zens, the total number of people at risk of forced labor ranges between 2 and 2.5 million.

“The repression of Uyghurs is the most emblematic example of the recklessness of PRC policies when it comes to human rights, violent repression of ideological diversity in China, and malign economic influence and coercion. It’s time we hold those responsible for this crime against humanity accountable.” Jason Worlledge, IRI Resident Program Director, Poland and Lead of IRI’s Bolstering Europe Against the Subversive Tactics of the CCP (BEAST) program.

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