Uyghurs in the diaspora who are able to exercise free expression uniformly demand that brands and retailers exit the region, and comply with each of the elements outlined in the Coalition’s Call to Action. Over 70 Uyghur groups have endorsed the Call to Action. Businesses and governments must listen to what these groups – who act as the credible representatives of the victims in the Uyghur Region – demand.
Forced labur of Uyghurs is not perpetrated by individual employers who could potentially be identified and screened out through traditional due diligence methods. The government of China is perpetrating systematic state-organized forced labor against Uyghurs as an instrument of repression. When forced labor is a widespread or systematic violation committed in furtherance of a state policy, it constitutes a crime against humanity under international law. The widespread forced labor regime for Uyghurs is an integral part of a broader Chinese government strategy of repression, which includes other egregious abuses: arbitrary detention, political indoctrination, forced sterilization and forced abortion, family separation, torture, sexual violence and a pervasive surveillance apparatus.
These repressive government policies have cultivated an acute climate of fear that prevents Uyghur workers from choosing employment freely, and prevents individual brands and retailers from using their leverage to put an end to these abuses at a given workplace.