China Fishing Tied to Forced Uyghur Labor: Report

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
November 22, 2023China in Focus

Fishing has long been considered one of the world’s deadliest professions.

Now an investigative report is tying it to human rights abuses in China.

It says Chinese fishing and processing operations are using forced labor from the Uyghur ethnic group and that the U.S. is buying that seafood in violation of 2021’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.

Over four years, a team from The Ocean Outlaw Project nonprofit trailed and even boarded some of China’s 6,500 fishing ships.

When they refused to talk, reporters said they ventured out in small boats, throwing plastic bottles filled with interview questions aboard. Workers then answered them in notes and tossed the bottles back.

From the fishing ships, the group tracked the seafood to Chinese ports and processing plants. Then all the way to the United States and Europe. There the fish allegedly landed in grocery stores like Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and Sysco, plus restaurants and food companies.

That’s on top of U.S. federal purchases for school lunches and other programs like soup kitchens.

The probe also found some Chinese plants employ North Korean workers. United States sanctions ban all American purchases of products made with North Korean labor.

Following the report’s release, several major U.S. and European companies have cut ties with Chinese processors that are accused of forced labor.

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