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PRESS RELEASE: Volkswagen Must End Uyghur Forced Labour in its Supply Chains as CEO Visits China

PRESS RELEASE: Volkswagen Must End Uyghur Forced Labour in its Supply Chains as CEO Visits China
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Press Release – For immediate release
27 January 2023
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

Volkswagen CEO in China:

  • Oliver Blume must speak out on Uyghur forced labour in VW supply chains
  • Independent audits are no longer possible in the region
  • VW is the only car company with a factory in direct proximity to internment camps

The Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) called upon Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume today, to comment on the role of Uyghur forced labourers in the VW Group’s supply chains, during his visit to China which is scheduled to begin on Sunday: “Volkswagen has a moral responsibility not only because of its dark past. The group must ensure that it does not profit directly or indirectly from the genocide of the Uyghurs and other Turkic people. Mr. Blume must finally take serious and sustained action to ensure that VW’s supply chains are free of Uyghur forced labour,” said WUC President Dolkun Isa.

Recently published research from the University of Sheffield shows the extent to which Uyghur forced labour is part of the supply chains of companies like Volkswagen. “Under no circumstances should Mr. Blume repeat the mistakes of his predecessor Herbert Diess. He preferred to pretend that the crimes of the Chinese state against the Uyghurs did not exist. In fact, the group has had a responsibility to review its supply chains not just since the Supply Chain Act came into force. After his return, Blume should meet with Uyghurs whose relatives have disappeared or died in the camps,” demanded Hanno Schedler, GfbV consultant for genocide prevention and responsibility to protect.

“Volkswagen must close its plant in Urumchi immediately as independent audits in the region are no longer possible. Testing companies like TÜV-Süd have already withdrawn from the region in 2020. It is simply cynical to go to China to generate big profits despite the ongoing genocide,” Isa added.

Volkswagen is the only automotive company operating a factory in Xinjiang / East Turkistan. It is located in close proximity to the notorious internment camps. VW board member Ralf Brandstätter is expected to travel there soon. According to a report by “Business Insider” Oliver Blume will be in China from Sunday to Friday. 

You can reach Hanno Schedler of the Society for Threatened Peoples at [email protected] or 0551/49906-15.

You can reach Gheyyur Kuerban of the World Uyghur Congress at 0176/80569329.