WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh issued the following statement on the International Labour Organization’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations report:
“The International Labour Organization on Wednesday shined a spotlight on the serious situation and human rights abuses taking place in Xinjiang, China. The ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations, in its annual report on countries’ compliance with international labor standards, expressed “deep concern” regarding the People’s Republic of China’s policies towards the Uyghur and other mostly Muslim minorities in Chinas far western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
“The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations requested that the PRC’s government take steps to promote equal employment opportunity and treatment without discrimination based on race, national extraction, religion or political opinion; and revise national and regional polices that use vocational training and rehabilitation centers for political re-education based on administrative detention.
“The Department of Labor calls on the PRC to take the steps requested by the Committee of Experts, and to end its abuses of the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, as well as its use of these groups for forced labor in Xinjiang and beyond.
“The Department of Labor is committed to empowering workers at home and abroad, including by uncovering and combating forced labor in all its forms. Our reporting on forced labor identified ten products made with forced labor in Xinjiang, including cotton, textiles, tomatoes, hair products and polysilicon. Many trusted sources confirm that the People’s Republic has arbitrarily detained more than one million Uyghurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. An estimated 100,000 Uyghurs and other ethnic minority ex-detainees in China may be working in conditions of forced labor following detention in re-education camps.”
View the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations.
Read the department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs reporting on forced labor in Xinjiang.