• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

German Politicians Urge Volkswagen to Divest from Xinjiang: Will the Company Follow Suit?

ByEditor

Feb 13, 2024
German politicians urge Volkswagen to exit Xinjiang

After BASF’s decision to divest from joint ventures in Xinjiang, German politicians from the SPD, Greens, and FDP have called on Volkswagen to follow suit. Renata Alt, Chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Human Rights Committee, stated that “Xinjiang must become a ‘no-go’ as a location for economic activities for Western companies, including VW.” She emphasized the importance of not making lazy compromises when it comes to human rights.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Frank Schwabe, demanded that all German companies immediately halt any further business operations in Xinjiang. He asserted that the human rights situation in Xinjiang is catastrophic and confusing, and German companies should not operate there.

Volkswagen operates a plant in Xinjiang in a joint venture with the Chinese manufacturer Saic, and their decision to continue operating in Xinjiang has been met with scrutiny. Despite issuing a commission to examine the working conditions at the plant in Xinjiang, VW insists that it takes its responsibility as a company in the area of human rights very seriously worldwide, including in China. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are adhered to closely by the company.

Reports from Uighurs, members of other minorities, and human rights organizations have revealed that hundreds of thousands of people in Xinjiang have been forced into re-education camps, tortured, and subjected to forced labor. Meanwhile, the Chinese government denies these allegations.

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