Uyghur Policy Act of 2022 (S.4073)

The Uyghur Policy Act of 2022 (S.4073) was introduced in the Senate on April 7, 2022, by Senator Marco Rubio (R) as companion legislation to the Uyghur Policy Act of 2021 (H.R.4785), introduced by Rep. Young Kim (R). The House bill passed with an overwhelming bipartisan support on December 1, 2022.

The full title is: “A bill to support the human rights of Uyghurs and members of other ethnic groups residing primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and safeguard their district civilization and identity, and for other purposes.”

The findings include the following:

  • Throughout their history, Uyghurs and other predominately Muslim ethnic groups have maintained a civilization that was distinct from the Chinese. For centuries, these Turkic groups were not under Chinese rule.
  • Article One of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights state that all peoples have the right to self-determination.
  • Uyghurs and Kazakhs who have secured citizenship or permanent residency outside of the PRC have attested to repeated threats, harassment, and surveillance by PRC officials.
  • Both Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo have confirmed the U.S. government determination that the Chinese government has committed genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs.
  • Government bodies of multiple nations have also declared that Chinese Communist Party atrocities against such populations in the XUAR constitute genocide, including the parliaments of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Czechia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Canada.

The bill:

  • Directs the U.S. State Department, in consultation with representatives of the global Uyghur community, to include Uyghur human rights activists in its U.S. Speaker program to speak at public diplomacy forums in Muslim majority countries about their experiences with repression in the Uyghur region and abroad;
  • Within 180 days, requires a strategy on how the State Department will support calls from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN experts, as well as diplomatic meetings with CCP officials to gain access to detention facilities and secure the release of detained Uyghurs; 
  • Requires the U.S. Secretary of State to make available Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers (FSOs);
  • Requires that at least one Uyghur-speaking FSO is assigned to each U.S. diplomatic and consular mission in China, Turkey and other nations hosting Uyghur diaspora populations;
  • Directs the U.S. Ambassador to the UN to oppose any motion that would prevent consideration of issues related to Uyghurs in UN activities, or actions to prevent participation of Uyghur human rights advocates in UN meetings; and
  • Directs the U.S. Ambassador to the UN to support the appointment of a special rapporteur or working group for the Uyghur region to monitor and report on human rights violations.