amfori holds a strong position against any form of forced labour, including state-imposed forced labour. At this time, we are urging our members to exercise particular vigilance on any possible violations in their supply chains from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), China. Over the past few months, a number of media outlets, governments and civil society organisations have reported on alleged enforced labour cases subjected on ethnic minority groups, such as Uyghurs and Kazak people. We encourage members to review the developments of this situation closely and take appropriate action.
In March 2020, we launched a SIFL taskforce in order to focus on the particular challenges that arise when dealing with state imposed forced labour. The taskforce’s work led to the publication of a position paper and a practical guidance note for businesses on this issue in June 2020. It is our firm belief that by implementing the above actions amfori and its members will be better equipped to combat state-imposed forced labour and advance sustainability in supply chains.
We call on all members to closely study this position and guidance note. amfori will continue its efforts with stakeholders to discuss how we can tackle cases of forced labour in all its forms. Together with government, civil society and international stakeholders, amfori and its members are committed to exploring transparent and responsible solutions to any alleged cases of state-imposed forced labour, in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and globally.
Defining State-Imposed Forced Labour:
Forced labour is defined by the ILO in its Convention No. C029 as, “All work or service which is exacted from any person under the threat of a penalty and for which the person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.”
State-imposed forced labour (SIFL) refers to work exacted by the public authorities, military, or paramilitary, compulsory participation in public works, and forced prison labour (under certain conditions).