Washington D.C., Dec 16, 2021 / 17:25 pm
The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill on Thursday, Dec. 16 banning goods made with forced labor in the Chinese region of Xinjiang from entering the United States. Now, it heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R. 6256) comes after the U.S. accused China of committing genocide against the Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Human-rights groups estimate that China has detained more than one million Uyghurs, placing them in “re-education camps.” Some reports, such as one from the Associated Press, accuse the Chinese government of abusing hundreds of thousands of Uyghur women through forced abortion, sterilization, and birth control.
The White House responded favorably to the bill, after it was also passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 14.
“The President welcomes the agreement by Congress on the bipartisan Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. “We agree with Congress that action can and must be taken to hold the People’s Republic of China accountable for genocide and human rights abuses and to address forced labor in Xinjiang.”