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BERLIN - The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) non-profit is taking legal action against brands and retailers - including Hugo Boss and Lidl - which it accuses of taking advantage of forced labour in the Xinjiang region of China.

ECCHR accuses the companies of "directly or indirectly abetting and profiting" from the forced labour of Uyghur Muslims in the region, which supplies more than a fifth of the world's cotton, and says they "might therefore be involved in crimes against humanity".

It has filed legal complaints against the companies in Germany in the hope that public prosecutors will launch an investigation into the legal responsibility of managers of European companies in international crimes.

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