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The United States bans the import of forced-labour cotton

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The United States has banned the import of all goods from Xinjiang, China on the basis that they are likely made with forced labour. 

On 28 August 2020, GLAN and the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) submitted a legal petition to the United States’ Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requesting a halt to the importation of cotton and cotton-made goods produced with forced and prison labour in East Turkistan (Xinjiang). 

The petition requested that CBP prohibit the import of cotton and cotton-made goods from Xinjiang into the US, with a detailed two-phase recommendation as to how that could be implemented starting with an immediate Withhold Release Order (WRO) against all cotton made goods from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).  


In January 2021, US CBP issued a WRO against all cotton products produced in XUAR.  


In December 2021, the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act was signed into law in the US. It establishes a presumption that all goods produced wholly, or partly, in XUAR have been made using forced labour.  


We welcome the US ban on the import of forced-labour cotton. It is imperative that it sets a precedent that other countries follow, not least given the heightened risk of the EU and other markets now becoming a 'dumping ground' for forced labour cotton products no longer permitted into the US."


Image by Kuzzat Altay

The United States has banned the import of all goods produced by ethnic Uyghurs living in internment camps in China

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