Hearing on Forced Labor, Mass Internment, and Social Control in Xinjiang

419 Dirksen | Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 10:00am 

Over the last year, Chinese authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) expanded a system of extrajudicial mass internment camps, arbitrarily detaining one or more million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities. New research and reports from international media outlets indicate that officials in the XUAR have instituted a far-reaching system of forced labor, requiring current and former mass internment camp detainees, as well as non-detainees, to work in food and textile production and manufacturing. Uyghur human rights groups, scholars, and international journalists have also documented the widespread forcible displacement of the children of Uyghur and other ethnic minority parents who are either detained or engaged in forced labor.

The use of mass internment and forced labor, alongside other policies that appear to seek the eradication of traditional cultural and religious practices, contravenes the commitments made by China in signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), including the rights of all peoples to non-discrimination, to free choice of employment, to enjoy just and favorable conditions of work including the right to remuneration, and to take part in cultural life. 

On October 7 and 8, 2019, new U.S. government sanctions targeting Chinese officials, as well as governmental and commercial organizations for having contributed to the severe human rights abuses in the XUAR, were announced.

This hearing will look at forced labor, mass internment, and social control in the XUAR. Witnesses will provide testimony on forced labor and other egregious human rights abuses, examine how products made in the XUAR’s forced labor camps have entered global supply chains, and provide recommendations to the U.S. Administration and Congress.

WITNESSES:

Adrian Zenz: Non-resident Senior Fellow in China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and author of “Beyond the Camps: Beijing’s Grand Scheme of Forced Labor, Poverty Alleviation and Social Control in Xinjiang.”

Nury Turkel: Washington-based attorney and Chair of the Board for the Uyghur Human Rights Project, which he co-founded in 2004.

Michael Posner: Jerome Kohlberg Professor of Ethics and Finance and the Director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU’s Stern School of Business and former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

Amy Lehr: Director of the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and former legal adviser to UN Special Representative on business and human rights.

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