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Uyghur Act sees progress, hurdles remain

Abbas passionately stressed the urgency of recognising and confronting these atrocities, urging global action to prevent further human suffering…reports Asian Lite News

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

Nearly four years since advocacy efforts began and two years since the Act came into effect, significant strides have been made with 68 People’s Republic of China (PRC)-based companies now listed on its entity roster.

The law aims to deter and punish companies participating in or benefiting from Chinese state-sponsored forced labour in the Uyghur region of Western China – importing a product where the labor or raw materials are associated with Xinjiang, and the other is to source from a company included on the federal government’s official entity list.

These measures have effectively blocked an estimated USD 700 million worth of goods linked to forced labour, underscoring efforts to curtail American complicity in human rights abuses. However, Abbas cautioned that despite these achievements, much work remains to eradicate the scourge of #UyghurForcedLabor completely.

In a poignant statement, she highlighted the grim reality faced by Uyghur Muslims under Chinese rule, describing systematic abuses including forced marriages, mass rape, forced sterilization, arbitrary arrests, torture, child abduction, organ harvesting, and genocide.

Abbas passionately stressed the urgency of recognising and confronting these atrocities, urging global action to prevent further human suffering.

The personal toll of these injustices was evident as Abbas, whose brother, retired Dr Gulshan Abbas, has been detained by Chinese authorities since September 2018, expressed profound dismay at discovering American corporate involvement in supporting these violations.

She called for heightened awareness among consumers about the origins of the products they purchase, emphasising the ethical imperative to ensure that everyday consumption does not inadvertently fund human rights abuses. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act represents a critical shift in US policy towards Xinjiang, aiming to safeguard American entities from contributing to forced labour 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 play a pivotal role in shaping global responses to human rights violations, underscoring the imperative of collective action in confronting systemic abuses worldwide. (ANI)

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