UHRP Hails Unanimous Senate Passage of Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
For immediate release
July 15, 2021 10:10 a.m. EDT
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722
The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) welcomes the passage of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in the U.S. Senate, and urges swift action by the House of Representatives.
“This unanimous vote by the U.S. Senate is historic,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. “Uyghurs around the world are deeply grateful.”
The bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S.65), introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R), with the support of Senator Jeff Merkely (D), strengthens enforcement measures to prevent the import of goods made with forced labor in East Turkistan, or by Uyghurs subjected to state-organized forced labor across China.
The bill would create a “rebuttable presumption” that goods mined, produced or manufactured in the Uyghur Region are made with forced labor, unless evidence is provided to demonstrate otherwise.
The bill also addresses gross violations of human rights against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims through targeted sanctions, and encourages action on forced labor imports internationally.
Senator Rubio hailed the Senate action, saying, “We will not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ongoing crimes against humanity, and we will not allow corporations a free pass to profit from those horrific abuses.”
Senator Merkley applauded the vote, saying in a statement: “Today the Senate is sending a clear message that the United States will not be complicit in the Chinese government’s genocide of Uyghur Muslims. No American corporation should profit from these abuses. No American consumers should be inadvertently purchasing products from slave labor.”
UHRP, the Uyghur American Association, the AFL-CIO and other members of the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region, among many others, have called repeatedly for House and Senate action on the Chinese government’s forced labor atrocities.