Research has shown there is widespread use of Uyghur forced labour within the solar industry. Almost the entire global solar panel industry is at risk of being implicated in the forced labour of Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim-majority peoples:
- 95% of solar panels rely on one primary material – solar-grade polysilicon.
- The Uyghur Region accounts for approximately 45% of the world’s solar-grade polysilicon supply.
- There are 90 Chinese and international companies whose supply chains are affected by Uyghur forced labour.
- The Uyghur Region’s largest raw materials supplier to the solar industry is heavily implicated in the forced labour of Uyghurs.
- All four of the Uyghur Region’s polysilicon manufacturers are implicated in Uyghur forced labour either through direct participation in forced labour schemes, and/or through their raw material sourcing.
- The four largest solar panel suppliers in the world all source from at least one of these polysilicon manufacturers.
The Coalition is demanding that all solar panel companies urgently disengage from the Uyghur Region, and from suppliers implicated in Uyghur forced labour, by signing the “Brand commitment to exit the Uyghur Region and prevent use of forced labour of Uyghur and other Turkic and Muslim-majority peoples”. Solar companies wishing to sign the Brand Commitment can contact the Coalition at [email protected]
The Coalition equally calls on all governments to urgently support the solar industry to disengage from the Uyghur Region, including in terms of alternative supplies of polysilicon. Transformations of our energy sources must not come at the expense of historically marginalised peoples. The shift toward renewables provides an opportunity to uplift and strengthen communities needed to bring about sustainability.
In Broad Daylight: Uyghur Forced Labour and Global Solar Supply Chains, Sheffield Hallam University (2021)
- Report warns of Uighur forced labour in solar panel supply chain, Aljazeera (2021)
- Revealed: UK solar projects using panels from firms linked to Xinjiang forced labour, The Guardian (2021)
- Chinese Solar Companies Tied to Use of Forced Labor, New York Times (2020)