British former journalist and business researcher Peter Humphrey says prisoners in China are forced to make clothes for well-known clothing brands such as C&A and H&M. Peter Humphrey spent two years in a prison in Shanghai after he was convicted for illegally collecting private data of Chinese citizens while investigating a smear campaign against pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. While serving his sentence, he saw prisoners working for big brands. Inmates made packaging and textile products for companies, including, C&A, H&M and 3M. He says, prisoners who worked full time were paid only about €15 per month. They also earned points with which they could reduce their prison term.
The British business researcher added it is quite possible that the companies in question don't know that prisoners are forced to work for them. C&A launched an investigation to find out the truth and said the company is taking these allegations "very seriously" and the company knows nothing about Chinese prisoners working in its clothing production chain. "We do not tolerate forced labour in our production chain. That also applies to labour in prisons. If we discover forced labour somewhere, the contract with the supplier is terminated immediately."
C&A says it checks the factories of its 273 Chinese suppliers at least annually and has employees dedicated to combat the use of illegal subcontractors. H&M and 3M have not yet responded to these allegations.