Do you use hair weaves?
Meghan Markle, the environmental and all-round hypocrite with U.S. presidential aspirations, whose natural hair is kinky because she is half-black, wears wigs, hair extensions and weaves.
Markle’s latest wig or weave in her recent video appearance resembles the ghoul in the 2002 horror flick, The Ring.
If you, like Markle, wears weaves, extensions or wigs made from human hair, you should know that they may have come from political prisoners in China.
CBS News reports that on July 1, 2020, federal authorities in New York seized a shipment of beauty accessories, including 13 tons of weaves and other hair products suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp.
Brenda Smith, executive assistant commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection ‘s Office of Trade, told the Associated Press that “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and 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 U.S. supply chains.”
This is the second time this year that CBP has slapped one of its rare detention orders on shipments of hair weaves from China, based on suspicions that people making them face human rights abuses. The orders are used to hold shipping containers at the U.S. ports of entry until the agency can investigate claims of wrongdoing.
Rushan Abbas, a Uighur American activist whose sister, a medical doctor, went missing in China almost two years ago and is believed to be locked in a detention camp, said women who use hair weaves should think about who might be making them: “This is so heartbreaking for us. I want people to think about the slavery people are experiencing today. My sister is sitting somewhere being forced to make what, hair pieces?”
Wednesday’s shipment was made by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd., an exporter in China’s far west Xinjiang region, where, over the past four years, the Chinese Communist government has imprisoned an estimated 1 million or more Uighurs — ethnic Turkic minorities — in internment camps and prisons where they are physically abused, forced to engage in slave labor, and to denounce their Muslim religion and Turkic language. Beijing suspects the Uighurs of harboring separatist tendencies because of their distinct culture, language and religion.
Reports by the AP and people inside the internment camps and prisons, which activists call “black factories,” are making sportswear and other apparel for popular U.S. brands.have repeatedly found that
The AP tried to visit Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. more than a year ago during an investigation into forced labor inside the camps. But police ordered the driver taking AP journalists to turn back and warned that the cab’s coordinates were being tracked.
Before the cab turned back, the journalists did see the factory from the road. On top of the factory was a sign, “Haolin Hair Accessories,” in big red letters. The factory was ringed with barbed wire fencing and surveillance cameras, and the entrance was blocked by helmeted police. Former political prisoners in other parts of Xinjiang have described being shuttled to work in fenced, guarded compounds during the day and taken back to internment camps at night.
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), who has taken a lead on anti-human trafficking legislation, said that allegations of forced labor are “not surprising” and that “It is likely that many slave labor products continue to surreptitiously make it into our stores.”
The Chinese Ministry of Affairs, of course, denies there is forced labor or that ethnic minorities are persecuted and imprisoned.
Although prohibited by the 1930 Tariff Act, it is extremely rare for the U.S. government to block imports produced by forced labor. In the past 90 years, the federal government has only enforced the law 54 times. The majority of bans, 75%, blocked goods from China.
On June 17, President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, condemning “gross human rights violations of specified ethnic Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region in China.”