UK: Government takes tougher stance against UK business complicity in human rights violations against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang
“Britain to tighten laws on imports linked to alleged Chinese human rights abuses: Telegraph”, 11 January 2021
Britain will tighten the law on importing goods linked to alleged human rights abuses in China as ministers take a tougher stance on Beijing, The Telegraph reported on Monday.
Among the measures expected to be unveiled by the government include expansion of the Modern Slavery Act, reacting to concerns that items manufactured under duress by the Uighur Muslim minority may be entering the UK, the Telegraph reported.
Britain said last year there was credible, growing and troubling evidence of forced labour among Uighur Muslims.
China has come under scrutiny over its treatment of Uighur Muslims and allegations of forced-labour abuses in Xinjiang, where the United Nations cites credible reports that 1 million Muslims held in camps have been put to work.
Beijing has repeatedly denied mistreating Uighurs and says the camps are vocational training centres that are needed to tackle extremism, accusing what it calls anti-China forces of smearing its Xinjiang policy.
According to the Telegraph report, the government is considering imposing heavier fines on companies that breach the terms of the legislation, along with new due diligence criteria that oblige firms to ensure that no one in their supply chain has been part of a forced-labour transfer scheme.
Among other measures, British ministers are looking to impose tougher export controls on goods and technology to China that could be used for repression, the report added.