UHRP Hails House Passage of Uyghur Policy Act, Calls for Swift Action in the Senate

Young Kim 2024

For immediate release
February 15, 2024, 4:00 p.m. EST
Contact: Omer Kanat, +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin, +1 (646) 906-7722, Julie Millsap, +1 (830) 822-7289

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) praises passage of the Uyghur Policy Act, which passed by an overwhelming majority in the US House of Representatives today, and calls for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to move the bill for markup swiftly. 

“The Uyghur Policy Act equips the U.S. with tools needed to support the basic human rights and distinct identities of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region subject to the CCP’s inhumane treatment,” said Representative Young Kim, Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific. “I thank Rep. Bera for co-leading this bill with me, the 106 cosponsors for your support, and all who joined this effort to stop Uyghur genocide. I will continue to fight to get this done, firmly push back against the CCP’s abuses, and support human rights and freedom around the world.” 

“Representative Kim’s bill includes valuable provisions to ensure the United States takes further steps to end atrocities faced by Uyghurs, and will push allies to do the same,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “Uyghurs are grateful for Congressional leadership to push for stronger US policies, and we urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to act quickly to move this critical legislation forward.”

Uyghur American Association President Elfidar Iltebir reiterated this call, stating “Now is the time to roll up our sleeves and focus on getting the bill through the Senate so it can reach President Biden and be signed into law as soon as possible.” 

The Uyghur Policy Act (H.R.2766) was first introduced in the House by Rep. Young Kim (R-CA), and was co-sponsored by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA) and 16 other original cosponsors. On November 29, 2023, it was approved unanimously by the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), under the leadership of Chairman Michael McCaul and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks, by a vote of 40–0. 

A companion bill in the Senate, the Uyghur Policy Act of 2023 (S.1252) was introduced on April 20, 2023, by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), with cosponsors Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), and is awaiting markup by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

The bill authorizes a “United States Special Coordinator for Uyghur Issues,” within the State Department, who would seek to promote the protection and preservation of the distinct ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic identities of the Uyghurs. The Special Coordinator is also responsible for promoting the Uyghur issue in Europe, Central Asia, and the Islamic world in particular.

UHRP has worked consistently to ensure that policy makers in Congress have access to the most up-to-date information regarding the Uyghur Genocide in order to craft effective policy.

UHRP appreciates support from a broad coalition of partners who have also endorsed the Uyghur Policy Act, including the Uyghur American Association, No Business with Genocide, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and others. More information on bills endorsed by UHRP can be found on the UHRP Bill Tracker.

Read more:

UHRP Hails House Passage of Legislation Banning Use of Taxpayer Dollars for Goods Made with Uyghur Forced Labor, February 14, 2024

UHRP Hails Creation of China Atrocity Crimes Coordinator by US Congress, December 15, 2023

UHRP Leads Joint Letter Urging Secretary Blinken to Demand an End to China’s Genocidal Policies in Meeting with PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi, October 25, 2023

UHRP Alerts Commerce Secretary Raimondo to Uyghur Human Rights Risks Regarding “China-US Tourism Summit”, October 24, 2023

Congressional Testimony of Louisa Greve for UHRP,  for House Oversight Hearing on Uyghur Forced Labor Enforcement, October 19, 2024

UHRP Urges President Biden to Press Central Asian Presidents to Protect Uyghurs, September 19, 2023

UHRP Applauds Introduction of Bill on Magnitsky Sanctions for Chinese Tech Companies Enabling Genocide: Hikvision, Dahua, Tiandy and BGI, December 19, 2022

UHRP Applauds House Passage of Uyghur Policy Act in the 117th Congress, Dec 1, 2022

UHRP Praises CECC Findings on the Uyghur Genocide, Calls for Stronger US Policies, November 18, 2022

UHRP Welcomes Secondary Sanctions Bill for Those Doing Business with Genocide Perpetrators, August 3, 2022