Peters & Peters

NGOs file new complaint against clothing giants in connection with Uyghur forced labour


Key facts:

In April 2021, three NGOs (Sherpa, Collectif Ethique sur l’étiquette and the European Uyghur Institute) and a Uyghur plaintiff filed a complaint with the Paris Prosecutor Office (Tribunal judiciaire de Paris) against several multinationals in the clothing industry, alleging that they may be involved in the forced labour of the Uyghur.

The complaint was made against Inditex (which owns Zara and Massimo Duti, among others), Uniqlo, SMCP (the owner of Maje and Sandro, among others) and Skechers USA and other unknown persons and alleged concealment of four crimes: aggravated bondage, human trafficking in an organised gang, genocide and crimes against humanity.

In July of that year, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecution Service (Parquet national antiterroriste) opened a preliminary investigation into the crime of concealment of crimes against humanity and entrusted it to the Central Office for Combating Crimes against Humanity and Hate Crimes (Office central de lutte contre les crimes contre l’humanité et les crimes de haine).

Two years later, in April 2023, the public prosecutor dismissed the complaint on the ground that the anti-terrorism office did not have jurisdiction and, in May 2023, the four complainants filed a new complaint as civil parties to request the opening of a judicial investigation. The complaint is based on the offence of concealment of the four crimes mentioned above.


Sherpa press releases of April 2021, July 2021 and May 2023 and Le Figaro article of May 2023

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