Global Supply Chains, Forced Labor, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region



Luke Adams | Steve Andrews | Scott Flipse | Megan Fluker | Amy Reger | Congressional-Executive Commission on China


As many as 1.8 million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities are, or have been, arbitrarily detained in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The severe human rights abuses, torture, political indoctrination, forced renunciations of faith, and widespread and systematic forced labor occurring in mass internment camps may constitute crimes against humanity under international law.

Global supply chains are increasingly at risk of being tainted with goods and products made with forced labor from the XUAR. Intrusive surveillance, restrictions on movement, and the inability to obtain reliable information from workers at risk of detention and other reprisals also makes it increasingly impossible to conduct due diligence. The risk for complicity in forced labor is high for any company importing goods directly from the XUAR or those partnering with a Chinese company operating in the region.

As this report details, forced labor exists both within the XUAR’s system of mass internment camps, and throughout the region, and is confirmed by the testimony of former camp detainees, satellite imagery, and recently leaked Chinese government documents. This report documents both products and companies reportedly tainted by forced labor. It also documents how forced labor in the XUAR contravenes U.S. and international law. The import of forced labor-made goods is in violation of U.S. law, namely, Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930. Additionally, Chinese government-sponsored forced labor in the XUAR constitutes forced labor under the International Labour Organization and is a form of human trafficking under the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

Based on the findings of this report, the human rights abuses being committed in the XUAR deserve a concerted response from the U.S. Government and the international community. To that end, this report includes recommendations for Congress and the Administration to address the system of forced labor created by the Chinese government. U.S. businesses and consumers should not be complicit in forced labor and Chinese businesses should not profit from the forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Muslim minorities.

To read the full report, please click here

CECC Staff Report March 2020 - Global Supply Chains, Forced Labor, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region