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23 Jul 2020

Helen Davidson, Guardian

Sanctions on corporations can be used to curb abuse against ethnic minorities, says group of lawyers

"World is legally obliged to pressure China on Uighurs, leading lawyers say," 22 Jul 2020

The international community is legally obliged to take action on China’s alleged abuse of Uighur and other Turkic minorities, a prominent group of British lawyers has said, suggesting nations use sanctions, corporate accountability mechanisms, and international treaties preventing racial discrimination to pressure Beijing...

The evidence of mass detention in “re-education camps”, surveillance and restrictions on religious and cultural beliefs amounts to cultural genocide, critics have said. There have also been reports of forced sterilisation of Uighur women, alleged efforts to curb the growth of the Uighur population which human rights investigators say provide the clearest evidence yet of genocide...

On Sunday, the UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab accused China of “gross and egregious” human rights abuses. The US government recently announced Magnitsky style sanctions against Chinese officials over the allegations, and on Tuesday France demanded independent observers be allowed into Xinjiang...

Nation states should also create and maintain international bodies to carry out the investigations, and use “all available offices and legal means” to prevent violations, and to investigate, apprehend and punish alleged perpetrators of violations against Uighur and Turkic Muslim populations...

It [briefing of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales] said there were also domestic avenues available including requiring that international corporations that operate in or are linked to Xinjiang make sure they don’t contribute to the commission of rights violations.

Numerous high profile international brands have been linked to Chinese manufacturers alleged to be involved in enforced labour programs, where Uighur men and women are allegedly subjected to highly coercive conditions, including constant surveillance, the banning of religious observance, limited freedom of movement, segregated dormitory living, and mandatory ‘ideological training’.

Part of the following timelines

China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses

China: 83 major brands implicated in report on forced labour of ethnic minorities from Xinjiang assigned to factories across provinces; Includes company responses

China: USA adds Chinese firms and entities to sanction lists over human rights abuses

China: Mounting concerns over forced labour in Xinjiang