A group of U.N. human rights experts says it is “deeply concerned” about allegations regarding China’s treatment of its Muslim Uyghur minority.
The Working Group on Business and Human Rights says it has “received information that connected over 150 domestic Chinese and foreign domiciled companies to serious allegations of human rights abuses against Uyghur workers.”
“As independent experts appointed by the Human Rights Council, of which China is a State Member, we consider that an official visit to China (including the Xinjiang region) would be the ideal opportunity for such dialogue and to assess the situation for ourselves based on free and unhindered access,” the group said.
Many Chinese companies as well as private firms outside China are accused of using slave labor or incorporating products made with slave labor into their supply chains. This includes “numerous well-known global brands,” the group said.
The group said it “respectfully” urges China “to immediately cease any such measures that are not fully compliant with international law, norms and standards relating to human rights, including the rights of minorities.”
China is accused of rights violations including arbitrary detention, forced sterilization and use of slave labor using Uyghurs. China denies the allegations and says its policies in Xinjiang, where Uyghurs are concentrated, aim to combat Islamic extremism.
Britain, Canada, the European Union and the United States have sanctioned several members of Xinjiang's political and economic power elite this week over the allegations of widespread human right abuses there.