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Uyghur Forced Labor Act Marks Milestone Amid Ongoing Challenges

Rushan Abbas, Founder and Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, recently reflected on the impact and ongoing challenges posed by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), a crucial US federal law enacted to combat forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Nearly four years since advocacy efforts commenced and two years since the […]

Rushan Abbas, Founder and Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, recently reflected on the impact and ongoing challenges posed by the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), a crucial US federal law enacted to combat forced labor in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Nearly four years since advocacy efforts commenced and two years since the Act’s implementation, significant progress has been achieved, with 68 People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies now included on its entity roster. The law aims to deter and penalize companies involved in or benefiting from Chinese state-sponsored forced labor in the Uyghur region of Western China. It prohibits importing products linked to forced labor or sourcing from companies on the federal government’s entity list.

These measures have effectively prevented an estimated USD 700 million worth of goods associated with forced labor from entering the American market, reflecting efforts to mitigate American complicity in human rights violations. However, Abbas cautioned that despite these advances, much remains to be done to eradicate the scourge of #UyghurForcedLabor entirely.

In a poignant statement, Abbas underscored the grim realities faced by Uyghur Muslims under Chinese rule, highlighting systematic abuses such as forced marriages, mass rape, forced sterilization, arbitrary arrests, torture, child abduction, organ harvesting, and genocide. She passionately emphasized the urgent need for global action to prevent further human suffering.

The personal impact of these injustices was evident as Abbas, whose brother, retired Dr. Gulshan Abbas, has been detained by Chinese authorities since September 2018, expressed deep dismay upon discovering American corporate involvement in supporting these violations. She called for heightened consumer awareness regarding the origins of their purchases, stressing the ethical imperative to ensure that everyday consumption does not inadvertently fund human rights abuses.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act signifies a pivotal shift in US policy towards Xinjiang, aimed at protecting American entities from contributing to forced labor among ethnic minorities. Yet, as Abbas reiterated, the global community must remain vigilant and proactive in holding China accountable for its actions, advocating for justice and dignity for the Uyghur people.

As international scrutiny intensifies, the effectiveness of legislative measures like the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act will continue to be crucial in shaping global responses to human rights violations, highlighting the necessity of collective action in confronting systemic abuses worldwide.

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Rushan AbbasTDGThe Daily GuardianUyghur Forced Labor Act