The measures introduced by both UK and Canada on Tuesday include a strengthening of the UK's Modern Slavery Act to introduce fines for businesses not complying with transparency rules, extending the act to the public sector, and an "urgent review" of export controls around Xinjiang.
Britain and Canada on Tuesday accused Communist China of human rights violations and "barbarism" against its Uighur minority and announced new rules to ban imports of goods suspected of being made using forced labour.
The abuses were on an industrial scale, said British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday, in strongly worded comments that will do little to improve ties with Beijing strained by its crackdown in Hong Kong.
It is truly horrific barbarism we had hoped lost to another era, in practice today as we speak, in one of the leading members of the international community, he told parliament. We have a moral duty to respond, he added.
Mr. Raab outlined plans to bar British companies from government contracts if they inadvertently or deliberately profit from, or contribute to, human rights violations against the Uighurs in Xinjiang province, northwest China.The Labour opposition member Mr. Chris Bryant said there was a clear example of the evidence for genocide being practiced in Xinjiang. And the British government needed to act to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The UK move stands in contrast to a December trade deal between the European Union and China, which approved major investment and opened up the Chinese market to the 27-member bloc. That deal was criticised because of widespread claims of forced labour in Chinese supply chains, and put the EU out of step with like-minded partners including the US, Australia and Britain, which have all sought to check Communist China's ambitions.
Canada followed Britain's lead and announced a similar ban on goods suspected to be made using forced labour in Xinjiang.
Canada is adopting a comprehensive approach to defending the rights of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, including by advancing measures to address the risk of forced labour from any country from entering Canadian and global supply chains and to protect Canadian business from becoming unknowingly complicit, Canada's Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne and Minister of Small Business and International Trade said in a joint statement on Tuesday.Uyghurs: Too Little, Too LateA representative of World Uyghur Congress Ms. Rahima Mahmut welcomed British's condemnation of Communist's China attrocities in the East Turkestan but she said it was too little too late. A genocide determination mechanism, Robust, clear sanctions, are needed she stated. I hope what we have heard today is just the start & that the government will go further, she added.The UK volunteer-based organisation Foundation For Uyghur Freedom said on its social media account that the British government needs to impose Magnitsky sanctions, support the Genocide Amendment and call the treatment of Uyghurs what it is, a genocide.
Australia's Parliamentarian Urges Government to ActIndependent Senator from South Australia Patrick Rex praised the legislation and asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne for reaction. Mr Dominc Raab has taken positive step to combat China's brutal repression of Uyghurs, Mr. Rex said on his social media. He suggested that Minister should support his legislation to ban goods produced by Uyghur forced labour.