XINJIANG – Supply chain risks are set to intensify for apparel brands sourcing from China due to the increasing use of forced labour in Uyghur detention camps in the Xinjiang region, according to a new report.

Global risk analysis company Verisk Maplecroft warns that standard due diligence practices are unlikely to uncover links to forced labour, as authorities in Beijing attempt to mask the traceability of goods and components.

And it says exported raw materials from Xinjiang, including cotton for which it is renowned, are also implicated, raising supply chain risks in other apparel-manufacturing countries.

Verisk Maplecroft fears the use of forced labour is part of a wider strategy to make China’s textile industry more competitive after a period in which higher wages left businesses struggling to compete with those in countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia.

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