Statement on Evidence of Uyghur Forced Labour in Global Solar Supply Chains

May 14, 2021

A report published today by Sheffield Hallam University has revealed extensive links between global solar energy technology supply chains and the widespread use of forced labour in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The report analyses official corporate documentation to find that all four of the Uyghur Region’s major polysilicon manufacturers have participated in or use suppliers linked to state sponsored coercive labour transfer programmes. A further 90 Chinese and international companies run supply chains linked to coercive labour transfer programmes.

This is of major concern to the global solar supply chains, with manufacturers in the Uyghur Region accounting for approximately 45% of the world’s solar-grade polysilicon supply — a primary material for 95% of solar modules.

We call on our governments to take urgent action to ensure that companies operating in the Uyghur Region take active steps to remove links to forced labour supply chains. Democratic states must take a coordinated approach to ensure supplies of critical green technologies are untainted by these abuses.

Coercive labour transfer programmes cannot be separated from the widespread abuses taking place against Uyghurs and other minority groups in the Uyghur Region. We reiterate our calls for the international community to establish independent, legal investigations into the alleged genocide and crimes against humanity taking place in the region.

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