Lawmakers seek 'assurances' Olympic uniforms not linked to forced labor
Added 01-12-22 07:57:02pm EST - “A bipartisan trio of lawmakers are asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for "assurances" that uniforms for the 2022 Games in Beijing are not linked to forced labor, after reports surfaced that the IOC en” - Thehill.com
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A bipartisan trio of lawmakers are asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for “assurances” that uniforms for the 2022 Games in Beijing are not linked to forced labor, after reports surfaced that the IOC entered into contracts with two groups that use cotton produced in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
The lawmakers, all of whom are members of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, penned a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach expressing their concern about contracts the group has with Anta Sports and Hengyuanxiang Group (HYX Group) because of their business dealings in the XUAR, where China's government has been accused of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims.
According to a March 2021 report in the South China Morning Post cited in the letter, Anta is the "official sportswear uniform supplier” of the IOC until the end of this year, and will provide apparel, shoes and accessories for the Games.
The company has reportedly left the social compliance group Better Cotton Initiative and “further voiced its support for continued use of cotton produced in the XUAR,” according to the letter, while the HYX Group has reportedly publicly said it uses cotton produced in the XUAR.
The lawmakers asserted that “Cotton produced in the XUAR is synonymous with forced labor and the systematic repression that takes place there.”
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