Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund to Investigate Firms for Links to Chinese Uighur Forced Labor

Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund will investigate companies it has invested in for links to Chinese Uighur labor internment camps in the Xinjiang region.

The fund, worth $1.3 trillion, is the worlds largest sovereign wealth fund and has massive market influence, owning 1.5% of the worlds listed shares across 9,100 companies.

Chair of the fund’s Council of Ethics Johan H Andresen said that they had begun identifying companies in their portfolio that used workers held in internment camps, saying that they were concerned about it being a potentially “widespread practice”.

Andresen added that if the fund were to make any decisions, they would be in the first half of the fiscal year. Companies that have been identified will see their shares sold before being excluded from the fund, in an attempt to not affect stock prices before they are delisted.

China has formally denied all claims of labor misconduct in the Xinjiang region, though UN officials and equal rights groups have said that more than a million people have been detained there. There have been reports of complexes that provide vocational training in an attempt to weed out Islamic extremists.

The Chinese government has said that people who attend the camps have “graduated” and been allowed to return to their homes, though no confirmation is possible given the strict restrictions for entering complexes in the area.

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