11 March 2020
Today (March 11th, 2020) at 9:30am members of the United States Congress, experts, scholars, members of the press and concerned citizens including Uyghur American Association members convened at Rayburn House Office Building for the roundtable Global Supply Chains, Forced Labor, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The event, held by the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), focused on Chinese government-sponsored forced labor in, and from, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Esteemed panelists—Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium Scott Nova, Chief of Staff and Director of Engagement at the Fair Labor Association Shelly Han, Rule of Law Director at the Solidarity Center Jeffrey Vogt, and Director of Campaign for Uyghurs Rushan Abbas—discussed the forced labor of Uyghur and other Turkic minorities throughout China, the persistence of this forced labor in global supply chains, and the ineffectiveness of audits and other labor compliance mechanisms in holding the Chinese government and complicit companies accountable for exploiting forced labor. In addition to the vibrant discussion from panelists, members of Congress—Senators Marco Rubio (FL) and Jeff Merkley (OR); Representatives Tom Suozzi (NY), Jennifer Wexton (VA), Chris Smith (NJ), and Jim McGovern (MA)—gave powerful remarks calling on the international community to join them to end Chinese government-sponsored forced labor practices immediately. Leading the fight to ensure the Chinese Communist Party no longer commits these heinous crimes with impunity, CECC Chair and Co-Chair, Congressman McGovern and Senator Rubio respectively, introduced the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in both the House and the Senate today.