Past Events

06 March 2020

On the evening of March 6, 2020, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum hosted the public program China’s Systematic Persecution of Uyghurs. Hundreds of Uyghur Americans and others from the community listened to powerful speeches from Massachusetts Congressman, Co-Chair of the Congressional Executive Commission on China, and Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission James McGovern, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback, and Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide Naomi Kikoler. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum volunteer and Holocaust survivor Dr. Alfred Munzer delivered a chilling, but heartening, story of his childhood in Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and how a selfless Indonesian-Dutch, Muslim family saved his life. His father and sisters perished, but his mother, against all odds, survived twelve concentration camps to eventually reunite with her son.

Following the opening speeches, a panel discussion with Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs Rushan Abbas, Senior Editor of ChinaFile Jessica Batke, Director of Radio Free Asia Uyghur Service Alim Seytoff, and Senior Fellow in China Studies at Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation Dr. Adrian Zenz shed light on the appalling crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party against the Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in China, including forced labor, physical and psychological torture, religious suppression, arbitrary detention, sterilization, and starvation. Audience questions focused on what ordinary people can do to stop the atrocities, and esteemed panelists encouraged folks to spread awareness of the current plight of Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples to family, friends, and policymakers. Panel experts also urged folks to be conscious consumers and stop buying products from companies that are profiting from Uyghur forced labor.

This is the first time US Holocaust Memorial Museum officially called China’s atrocities ‘Crimes against Humanity’

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.

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