us soccer volkswagen
The US Soccer is now contemplating removing Volkswagen as its partners, after a massive contingent of 86 human rights groups asked them to do so. Apparently, Volkswagen has continued to run a plant in the Chinese region of Xinjiang. This region has become a hot topic of human rights violation that has troubled the existence of Uighur Muslims for more than a decade.
Uighur Muslims have been treated as slaves and made to slog in cotton fields, a crime against humanity that is being severely criticized by conglomerates world over. Many have stopped procuring cotton from this region too.
Now, a coalition of human rights groups and religious freedom leaders are asking the US Soccer Federation to end its partnership with Volkswagen as it does not seem to live up to the symbol that the US Soccer Federation stands for.
Those protesting and raising a firm voice include the American Alliance for Automotive Corporate Social Responsibility (AACSR), International Religious Freedom Roundtable (IRFR), Jewish World Watch (JWW), and the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) amongst others. In April, all these parties had requested Volkswagen to take a stand against the human rights abuse that was happening in Uighur.
However, there have been parallels drawn to the brutal past of the Germans associated to Jewish holocaust and current state of affairs. It has somehow made it clear that the Volkswagen company would rather ignore the violation and continue to carry on with its trade partnerships with Chinese government.
Earlier this year, the US Government and the Canadian, UK, Dutch and Lithuanian parliaments determined that these crimes constitute crimes against humanity and genocide. The EU, New Zealand, and Italy have also passed motions condemning the abuses.
In 2020, Volkswagen had defended its reasons for operating a plant in Xinjiang, saying that in their plant, they do not have forced labor and do not condone such labor exploitation either. China CEO For Volkswagen, Stephen Wollestein, has further called ‘forced labour’ as an “unacceptable situation” and that they had ensured that none of the sites had such practice that were there at the time of war and holocaust though.