Forced Labour and Family Separation

This campaign aims to increase public awareness of forced Tibetan labour and amend the Customs Act so that the use of Tibetan forced labour is outlawed in Australian company supply chains.

Social control and extreme surveillance measures first experimented with by CCP boss Chen Quanguo in Tibet were fine tuned and vastly accelerated in East Turkestan (Xinjiang). Last year, aspects of these sharpened social control mechanisms were brought back to Tibet in the form of forced labour camps

While the CCP has used the forced labour of Tibetans as a key implement to attempt to control Tibet and its people since the early days of occupation, the coercion has taken a more extreme form. Specifically, ‘Military-style vocational training’ under the watchful eyes of the People’s Armed Police and labour transfers under the ‘care of team leaders’. The scheme states in the words of Chinese Administration that it is “designed to alter thinking, dilute the negative influence of religion and reform backwards thinking”.

Nomads and farmers are being forced to hand over their land and herds to cooperatives, further removing Tibetans from their traditional way of life. Families are being separated as ‘labourers’ are relocated under the transfer program. According to official documents the ‘left-behind’ children, wives and elderly family members are to receive the state’s ‘loving care.’ This separation of Tibetan family members and nomads from their land and animals is an attack on the very essence of Tibetan identity.

In the first 7 months of 2020 over half a million Tibetans went through this new ‘Military-style vocational training’. We’ve been unable to trace what has happened to the vast majority of those Tibetans, but we do know that 49,000 were transferred to placements within what China calls the Tibetan Autonomous Region and 3,100 were moved to other provinces in China.

Training is undertaken on an on-demand basis matching to specific corporate requests and requirements. Work teams operating door-to-door, alongside ‘grid management’ and ‘double linked households’ these methodologies of social control and surveillance are key elements to recruitment. Reinforcing the scheme’s nature are strict quotas and a reward and punishment system for those managing and organising the forced labour scheme. As if an Orwellian dystopia, documents describe unified processing, batch-style transfers, government involvement, financial incentives for middlemen, participating companies able to batch order to specification and all based on state-mandated quotas.

We gave a submission to the Inquiry into the Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced by Uyghur Forced Labour) Bill 2020 making the case that Tibetans should be incorporated in a law banning forced Uyghur Labour.

The next step is to set meetings with political leaders to work toward making this a reality.

Photo taken in Serta Dzong and supplied by Central Tibetan Administration.

Forced labour camps in Tibet

Forced labour camps in Tibet

An explosive report has revealed that half a million Tibetan nomads and farmers have been forced into military style labour camps in Tibet. Here they are subjected to indoctrination and intrusive surveillance, under the mask of ‘vocational training,’ before being sent to work in factories in Tibet or China.

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