The Australian Strategic Policy Institute said this was the next phase in China’s re-education of Uighurs. China has already detained about a million Uighurs at internment camps, punishing and indoctrinating them. Officials say the camps are aimed at countering extremism.
Between 2017 and 2019, the ASPI think tank estimates that more than 80,000 Uighurs were transferred out of the far western Xinjiang autonomous region to work in factories across China. It said some were sent directly from detention camps. According to the report, the factories claim to be part of the supply chain for 83 well-known global brands, including Nike, Apple, Samsung and Dell. The report said it was “extremely difficult” for Uighurs to refuse or escape the work assignments, with the threat of “arbitrary detention” hanging over them.