Protesters gathered in Paris on Saturday to demand an EU ban on products linked to the use of forced labor by Uighur minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. Speaking to FRANCE 24, Raphaël Glucksman, a member of the European Parliament, accused European companies with interests in China of trying to block the EU’s efforts to ban forced labor products.
Activists gathered at the Place de la République in Paris on Saturday to demand EU action on human rights violations committed by Beijing against ethnic Uighurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang province.
The demonstration came weeks after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced plans to ban the importation of products made with forced labor.
In his State of the Union address on September 15, von der Leyen said the EU “can never accept” that products made through forced labor “end up for sale in stores in Europe.”
But speaking to Jowharfrom the rally at the Place de la République, Raphaël Glucksman, a member of the European Parliament, accused European companies with interests in China of blocking the EU’s efforts to regulate the importation of forced labor products.
“When we are in the European Parliament, for example, we are not up against pressure groups working for the Chinese government. When we want to take action and pass legislation that harms Chinese interests, we confront representatives of European companies, ”Glucksman said. “The strongest embassies of the Chinese Community Party today are the big European companies that have interests in China because China is essential for its production and essential as a market.”
A UN human rights report said that at least one million ethnic Uighurs in China are being held in what looks like a “mass internment camp that is shrouded in secrecy.”
China, however, denies the accusations and maintains that the camps are for the “re-education” of Islamist militants.
Uighurs in Xinjiang are mostly Muslim and human rights activists accuse China of committing crimes against humanity in the ethnic minority community.