Another dangerous infection with world wide impact

Global trade and human rights violations
Global open trade, which has brought us much prosperity and which would not be a moral reason why it would be wrong, does go wrong when there are treaties that are unjust. The treaties concluded with this international trade then determine how the lines of trade will go. People are often involved in this, who want to make a lot of money quickly and unfortunately this is often at the expense of others. A horrifying example of the above and of brutal oppression, which touches all of us and which we are probably unconsciously part of, is currently taking place in China, with a people called Uyghurs. This is a Turkish Islamic people living in the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. About one and a half million Uyghurs live in China.

Two renowned newspapers in the Netherlands: NRC and Trouw write in March 2020 that tens of thousands of Uyghurs in China perform forced labor in factories that make products for well-known brands. The information comes from government documents and reports from the Chinese local media. There is a list of 27 factories producing for 83 different brands. These include many well-known names, such as sports brands Adidas, Puma, Nike and The North Face, computer companies such as Apple, Samsung and Dell, fashion brands such as Gap, H&M and Zara and car manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen. Also brands like Huawei, Nike, Sony, Samsung. The Australian Strategic Policy Institute writes this in a report. These companies may not be aware of the human rights abuses in their factories.

Hidden contamination
Most of the companies mentioned in the report respond with caution. Some, such as Adidas, report that they have no direct contact with the listed suppliers. This may have to do with the complex chains of these trade agreements that lie behind most products. According to Apple and Volkswagen, none of the companies mentioned is a direct supplier. Some companies, including the Abercrombie & Fitch clothing brand, have instructed their suppliers to cut all ties to the factories in the report. No brand can exclude, according to Aspi, that its production is somehow dependent on forced labor. The organization speaks of a “hitherto hidden contamination of the global supply chain”.

Our responsibility?
We can’t look the other way and say we don’t know or knew. Global open trade and global financial markets have made a limited number of people very wealthy and many others have become entangled in poverty. These very wealthy people have gained great political power through corruption. As a result, they have appropriated the privilege of barely having to pay tax. This leads to unrest and political repression, as the elected leaders further corrupt the system by remaining in power. Sometimes it takes a little reason to start a big fire. A righteous journalist was recently murdered in Malta, who sought to uncover this type of corruption.

Messiah Yeshua
I am sure that Messiah Yeshua disapproves of oppression and abuse of fellow humans. In China, persecution is unfortunately a daily situation for many people and Christians are also struggling there. The free countries have the duty to question the leaders in China and change the system. The corona virus comes from China. Maybe it should shake us up to open our eyes to this evil of persecution and oppression. Fortunately, attention is being paid to this injustice today and action is being taken by all kind of people and groups. Fortunately, the corona crisis also shows us many loving actions in the world of taking care of others. That gives hope and shows us the face of the Messiah Yeshua. Job 36:33 “His battle cry heralds Him, He strives in wrath against injustice.” Proverbs 16:8, “Better little with justice than great earnings with injustice.”

Elze Erwteman