NEW YORK (June 22, 2021) – Last week, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) initiated a poster campaign to bring attention to the links between the apparel industry and the Uyghur genocide in China. Mimicking a recent viral fashion marketing campaign, posters were distributed across New York City, with a picture of a prison jumpsuit typically worn by Uyghur forced laborers in Xinjiang, and a QR code. The QR code directs to a website, where HRF highlights how the fashion industry is complicit in forced labor in China.
Bleecker St. & Lafayette St. | Manhattan
Bedford Ave. and Grand St. | Brooklyn
This campaign urges consumers to only support companies that explicitly disclose not only where their products are made, but who is making them and how they are made.
Right now, more than one million Uyghurs are arbitrarily detained and working at forced labor camps across China. This forced labor scheme is part of a broader strategy perpetrated by the Chinese government — a system of abuse that has unfolded into what has been recognized as a genocide by the United States. According to the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labor, “virtually the entire apparel industry is tainted by forced Uyghur and Turkic Muslim labor.” Multiple fashion brands and international companies have been found to be profiting from this genocide.
HRF’s campaign aims to show consumers that by buying from companies that source their materials from Xinjiang, they are inadvertently supporting violence, suffering, and the attempted eradication of an entire people.
Wear Your Values is an HRF program that engages the fashion industry in the human rights movement, promotes transparency and human rights in the supply chain, and brings awareness to the hidden social costs of the industry through articles, events, exhibitions, panel discussions, and talks that are designed to educate consumers. HRF has joined the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, dedicated to ending forced labor and human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority people.
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