US customs officials said Wednesday they had seized a shipment of products made from human hair believed to be made by Muslims in labour camps in China’s western Xinjiang region.
They were part of an $800,000, 13-tonne shipment from Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. US Customs and Border Protection ordered on June 17 that the company’s goods be held on grounds it uses prison and forced labor, including from children.
“The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation,” said Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner for trade at CBP.
“The detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in US supply chains.”
Lop County Meixin was the third Xinjiang exporter of human hair — typically used in weaves and extensions — to be blacklisted in recent months for using forced labour.
The announcement came as the US State, Commerce, Treasury and Homeland Security departments warned US businesses to beware importing goods through supply chains that involve forced or prison labor in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China.