UN report on Xinjiang ups pressure on brands like Tesla, Airbnb

by | Sep 1, 2022 | World

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – A United Nations assessment that China’s treatment of Uighurs may amount to “crimes against humanity” is the latest damning report to raise pressure on multinationals like Nike and Tesla to rethink their operations in Xinjiang.In a long-awaited 45-page report released on Thursday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called on businesses in China’s far-western region to take “all possible measures” to respect human rights, including through “enhanced human rights due diligence”.
The OHCHR report, released on the last day of rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s term, made particular mention of companies involved in security and surveillance, recommending a strengthened “human rights risk assessment” for the sector. China’s Permanent Mission to the UN rejected the report as “disinformation” and “lies fabricated by anti-China forces and out of presumption of guilt”.
The UN’s damning assessment comes after Tomoya Obokata, the UN special rapporteur on slavery, said earlier this month that it was “reasonable to conclude” that forced labour was taking place in the region.
Justine Nolan, an expert on the intersection between business and human rights at the University of New South Wales, said the report meant it was “no longer possible for any state, business or individual to have plausible deniability about the wide-ranging human rights abuses that have, and are continuing to occur, in Xinjiang.”
“This pos …

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