When the six-year old Florence Widdicombe found a rather unusual note in a Christmas card that she got, it was not in her mind that a company like Tesco would have to rethink its production plans. Tesco, a company that is known for Christmas cards among other products, has halted the production at a facility in China after it was found that the factory is involved in forced labor. When the news broke, however, the issue seems to be affecting more than the Christmas sales plan of Tesco.
The message on the Christmas card was written by people who are held prisoners in Shanghai. They say that they are being forced to work, against their will. “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organisation,” read the message on the Christmas card, which had also instructed the person who found the message to contact a journalist named Peter Humphrey, who was also held captive a few years back. It was Peter Humphrey who brought this issue to the limelight. The child and their parents said that they believe it was a prank when they found the message.
“But on reflection we realised it was potentially quite a serious thing. I felt very shocked but also felt a responsibility to pass it on to Peter Humphrey as the author asked me to do,” Ben Widdicombe, the father of Florence, was quoted saying by BBC News. Tesco, in response to the allegations, said that the issue would be looked into and that the necessary actions would be taken if the claims of forced labor are found to be true. The company also said that the supplier of the Christmas cards would be de-listed from the service in an event the claims are found to be true.