Uniqlo parent company says will 'cooperate fully' with French probe into Uyghur abuse
Fast Retailing has said it has no contracts with sewing factories in Xinjiang, while audits by the company and a third party have found no forced labour in its related factories in any country or regi
TOKYO: Uniqlo's parent company, Tokyo-based Fast Retailing, said it will "cooperate fully" with the French authorities over their probe into the allegation that its unit and three other fashion retailers concealed crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.
This statement comes after French media reported Uniqlo France, Zara operator Spanish Inditex, Skechers USA Inc. and France's SMCP face allegations that their production process involves the forced labour of the Muslim Uyghur minority in Xinjiang.
The Uniqlo casual clothing chain operator said it will cooperate with the probe, if and when notified, to "reaffirm there is no forced labour in our supply chains." The company said while it is aware of the media reports, it has not yet been contacted by the French authorities, Kyodo News reported.
The investigation was opened after a complaint was filed in April by several organisations including a human rights group that the four companies allegedly benefited from forced labour of the Muslim community in the Xinjiang region.
Fast Retailing has said it has no contracts with sewing factories in Xinjiang, while audits by the company and a third party have found no forced labour in its related factories in any country or region.
China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.
In May, U.S. Customs and Border Protection blocked a shipment of men's shirts for the Uniqlo chain in January for allegedly violating an import ban on items containing cotton sourced from Xinjiang.