New Evidence of Volkswagen’s Complicity with Uyghur Forced Labour

20 Feb, 2024 | Genocide, Latest

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19th February 2024

New Evidence

Earlier this month, new evidence provided by Dr Adrian Zens, directly implicates Volkswagen in Uyghur forced labour: The SAIC1-Volkswagen test track in Turpan, Uyghur Region, was built using transferred “Uyghur labourers” in military drill uniforms, where they were subjected to indoctrination, biometric data collection, assimilation and surveillance.

This entity not only employed transferred Uyghur labourers through so-called “poverty alleviation” projects, but also actively participated in government work teams monitoring Uyghur families, in arranging and hosting assimilatory “ethnic unity” activities, exhorting Uyghur children to diligently study Chinese, and in facilitating the transfer of Uyghur surplus labourers to state-arranged workplaces.

These findings implicate a Volkswagen-controlled entity not only in activities aiding state atrocities, but also in subjecting its own staff to forced labour, assimilation, surveillance and indoctrination.

This is not the first time Volkswagen is found to be profiting from Uyghur forced labour. In 2012, Volkswagen set up a plant in Urumqi, the heart of the Uyghur Region of Xinjiang. According to the Chinese Automotive Associations, contracts demand “patriotic education” and “military training” for the employees.

Read the full briefing on Volkswagen’s complicity with Uyghur forced labour HERE.

What you can do to help end Uyghur forced labour

As a Jewish organisation, we are asking Volkswagen, a company with historical links to Nazi Germany, to ensure it is on ‘the right side of history’ by ensuring its production and supply chains are not tainted by the stain of forced Uyghur labour.

  1. Write to the CEO of Volkswagen Group China, Mr. Stephen Wöllenstein, and demand a public announcement it will end all its operations in the Uyghur Xinjian region immediately. You can use this template. Let us know if you receive a reply from him (

2. Ask your MP to call on the government to ban the import of products made with Uyghur forced labour.

3. When shopping for a car, avoid Volkswagen, and any other brands known to be complicity I the exploitation of Uyghur forced labour – visit the Jewish World Watch Uyghur Forced Labour Database to find out which companies have links to Xinjiang.

4. Join us and other supporters on weekly protest outside the Volkswagen dealership on the North Circular at Colney Hatch/Southgate (N11 3UT) – every Wednesday from 5.15-6.15pm

5. Help us leverage the media (both in the UK and Germany) and raise the pressure over Volkswagen’s operations in the Uyghur region and complicity with Uyghur forced labour.

End Uyghur Forced Labour Coalition

René Cassin has joined the End Uyghur Forced Labour Coalition of more than 400 civil society organisations and trade unions united to end state-sponsored forced labour and other egregious human rights abuses against people from the Uyghur Region in China.

Together we are calling on leading brands and retailers to ensure that they are not supporting or benefiting from the pervasive and extensive forced labour of the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority people, perpetrated by the Chinese government. For more information on the coalition’s aims visit:

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