UHRP Disappointed by Slow Progress in Implementing Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

DHS 2023

June 9, 2023 | 6:00 p.m. EDT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 202-790-1795, Louisa Greve +1 571-882-4825

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is concerned by the announcement of only two Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) “Entity List” additions by the Department of Homeland Security. While any additions are welcome and long overdue, UHRP, along with many other research organizations, has submitted substantial data which government agencies have apparently not taken on board. 

The Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) has opened up strong channels for public input, including a dedicated email address, which UHRP has utilized to send in information that ought to have been utilized to substantially expand the entity list. 

Today’s announcement was “highly disappointing,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. In a social media post, he noted that “it’s truly concerning that the government apparently could only act on two companies.”

“The entity list is key to public messaging: perpetrators of Uyghur forced labor do not have access to U.S. consumers. Strong language on enforcement isn’t enough —  naming the companies is essential,” said UHRP Director of Global Advocacy Louisa Greve.

UHRP calls on FLETF to make use of publicly available reporting to fully implement the UFLPA as enacted in December 2021. Reports published in the 18 months since passage of the law provide ample evidence of forced labor in supply chains across numerous industries. The government should quickly name more companies in industries such as automotive parts, PVC, apparel and textiles, solar components, electronics, spices and supplements, aluminum, plastics, and agriculture.

In January 2023, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced detentions of fruit in the ports of Newark, Los Angeles and Oakland, acting on UHRP research findings on American grocery stores selling sanctioned forced labor products, published in late August 2022. UHRP welcomed the actions and urged stepped up robust enforcement.

Read more: 

Congressional testimony: “Trade in America: Securing Supply Chains and Protecting the American Worker – Staten Island,” House Committee on Ways and Means, Testimony of Nury Turkel, Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), May 9, 2023

Statement for the record: “Trade in America: Securing Supply Chains and Protecting the American Worker,” House Committee on Ways and Means, Uyghur Human Rights Project, May 9, 2023

UHRP Commends US Customs Detention of Uyghur Forced Labor Imports Under UFLPA January 6, 2023

New UHRP Research Finds American Grocery Stores Selling Sanctioned Forced Labor Products, August 28, 2022 

Ending “Business as Usual” to Combat the Genocide of the Uyghurs: UHRP Testimony Before USCIRF, December 14, 2022

UHRP Joins Camp Survivors to Give Testimony on Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Enforcement Strategy, April 11, 2022