The organization accused China of subjecting Uighurs and other Muslim communities to forced labor inside and outside Xinjiang (European)

Human Rights Watch has accused a number of global automakers of failing to reduce the risks of using Uighur forced labor in their aluminum supply chains.

These companies include General Motors, Tesla, BYD, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

The organization called on governments to enact laws prohibiting the import of products associated with forced labor, and oblige companies to disclose their supply chains and identify any potential links to human rights violations.

The organization's report indicates that some car manufacturers have surrendered to pressure from the Chinese government aimed at adopting weaker human rights standards compared to the rest of their global operations, which increases the risk of forced labor in Xinjiang.

The organization warned that, under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, automobile companies bear the responsibility of determining the presence of forced labor and other human rights violations in the supply chains they use.

“Auto companies simply don’t know how linked their aluminum supply chains are to forced labor in Xinjiang,” said Jim Warmington, a researcher at Human Rights Watch.

He added, "China is a dominant player in the global auto industry market, and governments must ensure that companies that manufacture cars, or provide spare parts in China, do not have their hands stained by government repression in Xinjiang."

Doing business in China "should not mean having to use or benefit from forced labor," he added.

The organization said it found credible evidence of aluminum producers in Xinjiang engaging in illegal labor exploitation.

The organization stated that the Chinese government has been committing crimes against humanity in Xinjiang since 2017, including arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, cultural and religious persecution, and subjecting Uyghurs and other Turkish Muslim communities to forced labor inside and outside Xinjiang.

Source: Human Rights Watch