Canada and the UK have come up with several measures that aim to prevent goods made by forced labour in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region from entering the global supply chain and ensure that businesses in both countries are not complicit in forced labour in Xinjiang.
“Canada is deeply concerned regarding the mass arbitrary detention and mistreatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities by Chinese authorities," Champagne said.
Curbing Forced LabourCanada's measures aim to address the situation of the Uyghur Muslim sect and other minorities in China and to prevent items produced through forced labour from entering Canadian and global supply chains. The seven measures are:
- The Prohibition of imports of goods produced wholly or in part by forced labour
- A Xinjiang Integrity Declaration for Canadian companies
- A Business Advisory on Xinjiang-related entities
- Enhanced advice to Canadian businesses
- Export controls
- Increase awareness for Responsible Business Conduct linked to Xinjiang
- Third-party analysis on forced labour and supply chain risks
“Our government is committed to ensuring that Canadian businesses at home and abroad are not unknowingly involved in any supply chains involving forced labour,"Ng said.
The measures aim to prevent forced labour from any country from entering Canadian and global supply chains and to protect Canadian businesses from becoming unknowingly complicit.
“The evidence of the scale and severity of the human rights violations being perpetrated in Xinjiang against the Uyghur Muslims is now far reaching,” Raab said.
“This package will help make sure that no British organizations, government or private sector, deliberately or inadvertently, profit from or contribute to the human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities in Xinjiang.”
Largest Mass Detention Since HolocaustCanada’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights estimates that roughly 2 million Uyghurs and Turkic Muslims are held in concentration camps in Xinjiang, making it the largest mass detention since the Holocaust.
Some rights advocates believe that the detainees are not only subjected to forced labour and other abuses, but possibly even illicit organ harvesting.
“There’s a number of factors which indicate that the Uyghur volume is going up.”
According to two investigative reports co-authored by Matas, China’s human rights abuses and forced organ harvesting practices target various religious and ethnic minorities including house Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, and Tibetans, with Falun Gong prisoners of conscience being by far the most impacted group.
According to Global Affairs Canada, violations against Uyghurs include repressive surveillance, mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment, forced labour within Xinjiang region, and mass transfers of forced labourers from Xinjiang to provinces across China.