U.S. to Detain Products ‘Manufactured with Forced Labor’ from Xinjiang, China

Published by Matt Fishman on

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain the imported merchandise of a hair products company, who operates in the Xinjiang region of China, “based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor”.

CBP says they’ve received allegations, “from a variety of sources including the public”, that these products were produced with forced labor.

In November 2019, allegedly-classified documents were leaked, revealing a “systematic detention of Muslim Uighurs in China”, specifically in in the Xinjiang region.

According to the documents, the Chinese government is detaining Uighurs in Xinjiang and holding them in so-called “training centers”. Detainees are “educated and trained in the training center for at least one year”. During this time, Chinese officials “manage and control student activities to prevent escapes” including monitoring of “eating periods”, “toilet breaks”, and “bath time”. Purportedly, the purpose of detainment is for China to “resolve ideological contradictions, and guide away students from bad emotions” as well as force “the repentance and confession of the students for them to understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past behavior”.

China has publicly acknowledged the existence of centers that “have been established with the goal of educating and rehabilitating people guilty of minor crimes or law-breaking and eradicating the influence of terrorism and extremism”. However, they have also called the leaked documents “pure fabrication and fake news”.

Congress passed the “Uyghur Human Rights Act” in December 2019, to investigate the “gross violations of universally recognized human rights, including the mass internment of over 1,000,000 Uyghurs and other predominately Muslim ethnic minorities in China”, but President Trump has not yet signed the bill into law.