U.S. Representatives Introduce Bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act to fight  Forced Labor in Uyghur homeland

In a bid to combat the use of forced labor in China’s so-called “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,” U.S. Representatives Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and Carlos A. Giménez (R-FL) have taken the lead in introducing the groundbreaking bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act. This legislation aims to hold publicly traded companies accountable by requiring them to review and disclose any potential links their products may have to Uyghur forced labor in so-called “Xinjiang”.

According to Uyghur activist groups, an alarming number of Uyghurs, estimated to be at least one million, are enduring forced labor conditions. These conditions are reported to occur both within isolated newly constructed cities designed to exploit Uyghurs as slave labor and in inland Chinese factories, where the Xinjiang Government has allegedly facilitated the sale of Uyghurs at low costs.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act would direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to establish rules mandating that publicly traded companies release annual reports detailing all imported goods sourced from the region. The information disclosed would include data on commercial activity, gross revenue, net profits, and future import plans for these goods, as well as whether they were produced in forced labor camps. By intensifying the scrutiny of imported goods with supply chains connected to the region, the legislation builds upon the powerful previous Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), which came into effect in June of the previous year.

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton emphasized that products made using forced labor have no place on American store shelves, and consumers deserve to know whether the goods they use were produced under such exploitative conditions. She stressed the importance of greater scrutiny to combat the Chinese government’s exploitation of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, terming it a human rights atrocity.

Echoing these sentiments, Congressman Carlos A. Giménez condemned the Beijing regime’s ongoing genocide against the Uyghur people and called the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act a landmark legislation that upholds America’s commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights. He highlighted the need to label products manufactured in Communist China using forced and exploitative labor adequately.

Rushan Abbas, Executive Director of the Campaign for Uyghurs, expressed that the reintroduction of the Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act is of immense significance to Uyghurs in the United States, as it would help identify and address complicit actors while supporting the implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The bill’s transparency measures are crucial for consumers, investors, and stakeholders to eradicate Uyghur forced labor sustainably.

Omer Kanat, Executive Director of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, emphasized that the world’s most profitable companies should not be allowed to hide any links to Uyghur forced labor, stressing that the legislation would aid in exposing and eliminating forced labor from global supply chains connected to corporate giants.

Representative Jennifer Wexton represents a district with one of the largest Uyghur diaspora populations in the United States, and she has been a staunch advocate for Uyghur human rights in Congress. As an original cosponsor of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, she earlier introduced the bipartisan Uyghur Human Rights Protection Act to expedite the asylum application process for Uyghurs seeking refuge in the United States.

The bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Disclosure Act is cosponsored by Representatives André D. Carson (D-IN), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), and Dina Titus (D-NV).

Uyghur Times

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