New evidence from Chinese government documents and media reports shows that hundreds of thousands of ethnic minority laborers in Xinjiang are being forced to pick cotton by hand through a coercive state-mandated labor transfer and “poverty alleviation” scheme… Xinjiang produces 85 percent of China’s and 20 percent of the world’s cotton … These findings have much wider implications, affecting all supply chains that involve Xinjiang cotton as a raw material … This report provides evidence for coercive labor related to all cotton produced in Xinjiang.


… State policies have greatly increased the numbers of local ethnic minority pickers … Cotton picking is grueling and typically poorly paid work. Labor transfers involve coercive mobilization through local work teams, transfers of pickers in tightly supervised groups, and intrusive on-site surveillance by government officials and (in at least some cases) police officers. Government supervision teams monitor pickers, checking that they have a “stable” state of mind, and administer political indoctrination sessions … The data presented in this report provides strong evidence that the production of the majority of Xinjiang’s cotton involves a coercive, state-run program targeting ethnic minority groups.

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