Hundreds of thousands of people from ethnic minorities, including the Uighur community, are being forced by the Chinese authorities to pick cotton, in the far western region of Xinjiang, according to information seen by the BBC.
The evidence suggests that China’s cotton crop – a fifth of the world’s supply – could be far more dependent on forced labour than previously thought.
Over the past few years more than a million Uighurs are believed to have been detained in so-called ‘re-education’ camps. China denies claims of torture and carrying out forced sterilisations and abortions.
In response to the latest evidence the Chinese government has told the BBC that claims of forced labour are “entirely fabricated”.
Huw Edwards presents a BBC News at Ten special investigation from John Sudworth in Xinjiang – a region where foreign journalists are closely monitored.
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