Dutch companies C&A, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, and Calvin Klein still import and sell clothing made by Uyghur forced laborers in Chinese concentration camps, Nederlands Dagblad reported based on the companies’ commercial shipment data.
Nike Europe, head office in Hilversum, is the biggest culprit. Between January 2021 and March 2022, a staggering 97 percent of its cotton deliveries came from factories that use forced labor, according to reports and international observers.
More than half of Tommy Hilfiger’s cotton shipments came from Chinese concentration camps and about a third of Calvin Klein’s. Both these companies’ headquarters are in Amsterdam.
Dutch company C&A profits from the Uguyr people’s mistreatment to a smaller extent, according to the newspaper. Five percent of the company’s cotton deliveries to the Netherlands and Germany came from factories suspected of forced labor.
In December, the European human rights organization ECCHR filed a complaint with the Public Prosecution Service against these and other companies, accusing them of slave labor due to their cotton imports. In February last year, the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, officially labeled China’s treatment of the Uyghurs as genocide.
The Uyghurs are the original inhabitants of China’s Xingjiang region. Many thousands of Uyghurs and other Muslims are held in what China calls “re-education camps” in the area and are forced to work there.