Chinese-Swedish designer draws attention to forced labor

Award-winning Chinese-Swedish fashion designer and human rights activist, Louise Xin, held a fashion show at the European Parliament, March 28.

This was the first fashion show inside the parliament. The show featured her rental only, non-sale couture brand.

Nine models of different ethnicities, including two Uyghur women, walked the parliamentary runway.

At the end of the show, Xin walked into the room holding the hands of a woman who has been detained in a “re-education” camp in northwestern China, and a Nepalese former child laborer.

“Clothes are so much more than just pieces of fabric,” Xin told the attendees. “They’re telling stories about who wears them and makes them.”

Forced labor affects at least 27.6 million people worldwide. Most occurs in the private economy. But in China around 1.8 million Uyghurs and other minorities are held in state-run camps and forced to work in local factories.

The show came as members of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union gathered to discuss a proposal to ban products made with forced labor.

The European Commission issued the proposal last September to prohibit the import and export of goods made with forced labor.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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