URAP applauds Canada’s measures on Uyghur Forced labour and asks to do more

Press Release

URAP applauds  Canada’s measures on Uyghur Forced labour and asks to do more.

January 12, 2020

The Global Affairs Canada and Canadian Trade Commissioner Service have issued public advisory and some measures to address the urgent issue of Uyghurs Forced Labour today.

In the official statement, the Government of Canada expressed “deep concern on the Chinese repression of Uyghurs and other ethnic groups  on the base of their religious and ethnic identity” and  issued warning to Canadian companies and stakeholders about the legal risks posed to them if their products or supply chains engage with entities implicated with Uyghur forced labor.

“This is the right step that takes Canada to the right direction”, said Mehmet Tohti, executive Director of the Ottawa bases Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, “ additionally, concrete measures should follow to ban all products coming from East Turkestan, including cotton and tomato related products, as the whole  processes of these production lines are tainted with Uyghur forced labor”, he continued.

Almost more than one quarter of cotton products in China is produced in the Uyghur region and majority of cotton industry is controlled by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps” which is a semi-military colonial establishment that dominates the region’s overall economic, financial sectors with enormous  resource to secure the millions of transferred Chinese population.

Since 2016, the Government of China has pursued draconian policy of genocide targeting at the Uyghurs and other Turkic natives of East Turkistan subjected them with mass arbitrary detention in concentration camps, forced mass arbitrary separation of children from their parents, destruction of religious, cultural and historic identity, digital surveillance, forced slavery labor, forced sterilization, torture and enforced disappearances.


Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development has recognized the atrocities committed by the government of China against Uyghurs and other Turkic people of East Turkistan as Genocide and called the government of Canada to take concrete actions to address the unfolding dire situation as follow:

“The Government of Canada should enhance its import control mechanisms, to prevent products made with forced labour from entering the Canadian market.

The Government of Canada should also impose sanctions on entities and individuals that benefit from the use of forced labour. Furthermore, recognizing the impact that government and corporate corruption play in allowing the practice of forced labour to continue throughout the world, the Government of Canada must condemn corruption in all its forms and take firm actions to combat it.

 The Government of Canada should empower the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise with independence and the power to investigate human rights abuse allegations and enact a comprehensive human rights due diligence law that compels businesses to respect the most current international human rights standards across their global operations and supply chains and be held accountable for harms caused or on behalf of their operations. 

The Government of Canada should conduct a review of its procurement practices to ensure it is not purchasing products manufactured through forced labour. It should also create legislation with respect to federal government procurement practices to strengthen transparency and oversight mechanisms, such as reporting to parliament, particularly as it relates to product origins, production and manufacturing” 

Recently more than 300 organizations, including the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project, has launched global campaign demanding all major brands in the Apparel and textile sectors to take action to exit the Uyghur region due to their association of the Uyghur Forced Labour.

Given the fact that 1 in every 5 cotton products in global market are tainted with Uyghur forced labour, necessary measures need to be taken  by states  imposing adequate import measures that are necessary to enforce global brands to keep the markets free from Uyghur slave labour products, instead of merely relying companies to practice responsible business conduct and to exercise due diligence.

Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project renews its urgent call for the Government of Canada to impose region-wide ban for importation of cotton and tomato related products from East Turkestan and release the list of companies that are currently still benefitting from Uyghur forced labour.

Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project firmly believes that this is not the only issue with Uyghur Forced labour implication, it is, at the same time, the issue of  morality to call Canadians. URAP Press Release on Government’s measures on Uyghur Forced Labour

Canadians shouldn’t send their money unknowingly to for indirectly subsidizing the current policy of Uyghur forced labour through the consumption of  products that are produced  and tainted by modern slavery.

For more

Mehmet Tohti

Executive Director of Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project

613 261 8512.  secure@urap.ca