Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Business Committee demand answers from fashion, retail and tech businesses
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee has written to a range of businesses in sectors including fashion, retail and information technology, to seek answers in relation to the Committee’s inquiry exploring the extent to which businesses in the UK are exploiting the forced labour of Uyghur in the Xinjiang region of China.
The Committee’s request for information to these named businesses also includes an invitation to give evidence at the BEIS Committee’s public hearing on Thursday 5 November. Government Minister Paul Scully will also be giving evidence at this session. Further witness details will be announced in due course.
The letters include questions around supply-chain transparency and regarding evidence of compliance with labour, procurement and anti-slavery laws. The BEIS Committee has written to the following companies: Adidas, Amazon, BooHoo Group, Gap (Gap Inc.), H&M Group, IKEA, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Puma, Stella McCartney, The North Face (VF Corporation), The Walt Disney Company, TikTok (ByteDance), Victoria’s Secret, Zara (Inditex).
Nusrat Ghani MP (Conservative MP for Wealden and lead BEIS Committee member for the Forced labour in UK value chains inquiry) recently said:
“The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s ‘Uyghur’s for Sale’ report names 82 foreign and Chinese companies directly or indirectly benefiting from the exploitation of Uyghur workers in Xinjiang. The companies listed in the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s report span industries including the fashion, retail and information technology sectors. On the BEIS Committee, we are determined to ask prominent businesses operating in Britain in these sectors what they are doing to ensure their profits are not on the back of forced labour in China. These businesses are trusted by many British consumers and I hope they will repay this faith by coming forward to answer these questions and also take up the opportunity to give evidence to the Business Committee in public.
“There have been a series of accounts of products being sold in the UK which can be traced back to forced labour at camps in China. On the BEIS Committee, we want to get a clearer sense of the extent of this problem, how seriously businesses ask questions of their own supply and value-chains, and to also examine the steps both Government and business could take to ensure that businesses and consumers in the UK do not perpetuate the forced labour of Uyghur.”
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Adidas regarding the forced labour in UK value chains inquiry [Ctrl+click to follow link direct to correspondence on Parliament website].
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Amazon
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to BooHoo Group
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Gap (Gap Inc.)
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to H&M Group
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to IKEA
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Marks and Spencer
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Nike
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Puma
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Stella McCartney
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to The North Face (VF Corporation)
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to The Walt Disney Company
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to TikTok (ByteDance)
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Victoria’s Secret
- Letter from the Chair and Nusrat Ghani MP to Zara (Inditex)
The Committee is investigating the risks that UK based businesses face when engaging supply chains that originate in China and what more the Government can do to ensure that businesses and consumers in the UK do not perpetuate the forced labour of Uyghur.
The Committee has invited written submissions (closing date: 23rd October) and, in particular, the Committee wants to investigate the extent to which the products of forced labour in Xinjiang are reaching the supply chains of UK businesses and to examine how aware businesses are of the risk that their activities may support forced labour.
The Committee also welcomes views on whether existing legislative and audit requirements for businesses in the UK are sufficient to prevent them from contributing to the human rights abuses experienced by Uyghurs. The Committee is also keen to understand what action stakeholders believe the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy should take to eradicate forced labour from the supply chain of goods and services sold in the UK.
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