China compels Uighurs to work in shoe factory that supplies Nike

That’s the headline of this Washington Post article:

LAIXI, China — The workers in standard-issue blue jackets stitch and glue and press together about 8 million pairs of Nikes each year at Qingdao Taekwang Shoes Co., a Nike supplier for more than 30 years and one of the American brand’s largest factories.

They churn out pair after pair of Shox, with their springy shock absorbers in the heels, and the signature Air Max, plus seven other lines of sports shoes.

But hundreds of these workers did not choose to be here: They are ethnic Uighurs from China’s western Xinjiang region, sent here by local authorities in groups of 50 to toil far from home. …

The Taekwang factory is one of many where Uighurs are working “under conditions that strongly suggest forced labor” to make goods for more than 80 established global brands, according to a forthcoming report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a Canberra-based think tank.

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