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Volkswagen Audit Finds No Indication of Forced Labor at Xinjiang Plant

by Anna

An audit commissioned by Volkswagen at its plant in China’s Xinjiang region has found no evidence of forced labor, amid accusations of human rights violations against the Uyghur ethnic minority by the Chinese government. The audit, conducted by Loening — Human Rights and Responsible Business, included 40 interviews and an inspection of the factory, concluding that there were no indications or evidence of forced labor among the employees.

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Volkswagen has faced scrutiny for operating in Xinjiang, where the U.S. government has imposed restrictions on imports from the region unless it can be verified that the products were not produced with forced labor. The German automaker’s plant in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, currently serves as a distribution hub, conducting quality checks on around 10,000 vehicles per year before delivering them to dealers in the region.

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China’s actions in Xinjiang, including a crackdown on the Uyghur population, have led to accusations of human rights abuses. The government denies such allegations and maintains that the measures are aimed at countering a terrorist threat. The audit results provide Volkswagen with a defense against allegations of involvement in forced labor practices in the region.

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