Organ harvests, forced sterilization of women, psychological torture, and forced family separations—the hallmarks of the Xinjiang region in China. Uyghur Muslims live in fear in Xinjiang as the Chinese government continues to wage war on their culture, with its elimination as the goal. Many are subjected to “re-education” camps, a euphemism for an exploitative labor system. It seems almost inappropriate to call this situation a humanitarian crisis where such little humanity exists. Xi Jinping’s “sinicization” program is a dehumanizing system. And we’re a part of it.
While all Muslims in Xinjiang need support, re-education camps are a starting point for change. The claims of “re-education camps” are a mere facade for the system of control implemented by China to structure and utilize the Xinjiang region that we, as consumers, have given economic value to. We have more power than we realize to overcome this situation, and it’s time to harness that power to stop a crisis that even the U.N. won’t touch. China is also a case study of a practice the globalized world has continuously perpetuated: the ability for companies to utilize political situations to their benefit through the exploitation of workers.