U.S. lawmakers stepped up their efforts to stop China’s human rights violations against Uighurs after reports emerged documenting forced labor, an increasing number of detention camps and the destruction of mosques as Beijing continues its repressive policy against the ethnic minority.
On Sept. 22, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban imports from Xinjiang in an effort to stop forced labor from workers belonging to the Muslim minority. In a 406-3 vote, the House overwhelmingly passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which would prohibit “certain imports from Xinjiang.”
The proposed bill follows the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which was signed into law in June, authorizing sanctions against Chinese officials who are responsible for human rights violations against Uighurs.
“Tragically, the products of the forced labor often end up here in American stores and homes,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. “We must shine a light on the inhumane practice of forced labor, hold the perpetrators accountable and stop this exploitation. And we must send a clear message to Beijing: these abuses must end now.”