A court recently found that UK authorities did not fetter their discretion by not investigating general cotton imports potentially produced by the forced labour of Uyghur people in China.

By Stuart Alford KC, Clare Nida, Nathan Seltzer, Paul Davies, Michael Green, James Bee, and Esha Marwaha

On 20 January 2023, the High Court ruled against human rights campaigners who argued that UK authorities were improperly allowing the import of cotton textiles made in Xinjiang, a region of China associated with alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur people. Approximately 85% of Chinese cotton is grown in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), with the “vast majority” of cotton alleged to have been produced in facilities under conditions of “detention and prison labour”.[1]