Re-education Camps in Xinjiang Turn Ethnic Minorities into Cheap Labour


Chinese Government has been long suppressing Uyghurs and Muslims from other ethnic groups in Xinjiang, using the excuse of “fighting against extremism” while practicing cultural genocide, despite the attention it receives from the international community. It even built numerous “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, which function like the “concentration camps” of Nazi Germany, to force ethnic minorities to work at minimum costs.

According to Radio Free Asia, Muslims who are released from the re-education camps, would be sent to work in factories. After a 12-hour shift, they are required to attend another one hour of political education. On papers, a monthly wage is set at 600 yuan, but in reality, a worker gets only 300 yuan. Reportedly, in Yining County of Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, management of a factory threatened its female workers that if they would refuse to accept such terms and conditions, they would be sent back to re-education camps. 9 female workers eventually were returned to re-education camps because of their refusal.

Yet, Chinese media praised factories like this for “improving local employment”. The above-mentioned factory was established in 2017 and with the “favorable” national policy, its turnover has raised rapidly in the past two years and it resolved the local employment problems. However, its so-called success comes from exploiting workers who came from the re-education camps. A Muslim told the media, recently some 2,000 Muslims were sent to this factory and the local television station also mentioned another 1,500 people were “employed” by another factory. In short, the re-education camps do not only attempt to erase the ethnic minorities' cultural identities, but also to transform them into cheap labour for certain factories.

Chinese Government's Xinjiang policies are indeed exercising cultural genocide against ethnic minorities and the Islamic culture, violating fundamental human rights such as freedom of thought, belief and religion. Now, its heavy-handed measures come hand in hand with capitalism, to legalize and institutionalize such detention and exploitation. We urge the Chinese Government to immediately stop such repression against ethnic minorities and religious groups, to close down re-education camps and to respect fundamental human rights of each person, regardless his/her ethnic background.