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World News

02 Jul 2020

US seizes 'forced labour' Chinese hair imports

US seizes 'forced labour' Chinese hair imports
BBC:

The US has seized a shipment of human hair products from China, that it says was made by forced labour from children or prisoners.

The products came from Xinjiang in the far west of China - where it's thought a million Muslims have been detained in "re-education" camps.

"Production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation," said US customs official Brenda Smith.

China said the "forced labour" accusation was false and malicious.

The US did not say whether the hair itself came from children or prisoners - merely that the products were made by them.

What was seized?

The products were detained by the US Customs and Border Protection at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The goods came from a company in Xinjiang, which, the agency said, indicated "potential human right abuses of forced child labour and imprisonment".

The products were part of 13-ton shipment of hair products worth more than $800,000 dollars.

Last month, the agency issued a "detention order" for all products from the Lop County Meixin Hair Product Company in Xinjiang.

A long-standing US law bans the importation of any products made by "convict labour" overseas.

"The detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message...that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in US supply chains," said Ms Smith.

The US embassy in China told Reuters: "The lawful labour rights and interests of the Chinese citizens of all ethnic groups, including those in Xinjiang, are protected by law."

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