Swedish solar panels are linked to forced labor in China

Solar cells from the Swedish government-owned multinational power company Vattenfall may have been manufactured with forced labor in the Xinjiang region of China, local media Expressen reports.

Human rights organizations have estimated that more than a million Uighur people and other Muslim minorities have been deported to camps, set up by the Chinese state where many have testified about forced labor and human rights violations.

According to Swedish Radio Ekot, China claims that these are “labor market projects” and the Chinese solar panel producer, Jinko is part of that project. Jinko’s solar panels are among Swedish Vattenfall’s bestsellers but according to Vattenfall’s sustainability manager Annika Ramsköld, the company does not accept forced labor, and we are now working to understand how we can ensure that there are solar panels that are not connected to Xinjiang province.

Last year, over 60 percent of the world’s solar cells and solar panels came from China and a new report from the American consulting firm Horizon shows that the world’s leading manufacturers have links to forced labor in Xinjiang. To Ekot, Annika Ramsköld explains that in principle, all solar panels have connections to Xinjiang in one way or another and this is a problem for the entire industry.

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