Government urged to act against Uyghur slave labour in fashion

MPs have urged the government to take action to ensure the UK clothing industry does not use cotton picked by Uyghur slave labour.

Sir Edward Leigh MP called on the government to coordinate trade sanctions against the People’s Republic of China alongside allies.

“In the 19th century the house of commons established its legacy on behalf of the enslaved and persecuted people in the world with the Slavery and Emancipation Act, and is the minister now aware after these questions that whatever action he takes this house of commons will give him full support,” the MP said at a parliamentary debate in the House of Commons. “The Chinese government doesn’t care a damn about mere words its only action that will persuade them.”

He asked if the government would “summon in the UK fashion industry to say that unless they can prove that cotton is not picked with slave labour, they will stop importing from China.”

He also asked if the government would pursue potential trade sanctions.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran also called on the government to create a “publicly available watch list of companies whose supply chains are implicated in Uyghur slave labour.”

She also suggested the Minister consider banning products linked to human rights abuses altogether.

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