by Babur, On March 18, 2022
Campaign for Uyghurs (CFU) has concluded a democracy and human rights advocacy training workshop for Uyghur women and youth activists in The Netherlands and attended a hearing on modern slavery and forced labor by the European Parliament in Belgium
The workshop, held in The Hague from March 11-13, was co-hosted by the US Embassy in the Netherlands. CFU invited representatives from the Uyghur communities in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, as well as the representatives of the Turkish Muslim Society, the Dutch government and the US Embassy in the Netherlands. Over the course of three days, participants learned valuable skills in grassroots activism to apply to their local community
On the 16th of March, 2022, Uyghur forced labor was highlighted at the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights Meeting – Modern slavery and forced labor in Brussels, Belgium. Senior fellow of China Studies at Victims of Communism (VOC) Dr. Adrian Zenz was invited to join the meeting virtually to report on and answer any questions from the Members of European Parliament (MEP) about Uyghur forced labor taking place in East Turkistan. Dr. Adrian Zenz explained the importance of using lawful tools to combat Uyghur forced labor. According to Zenz, at least 2 million individuals have been transferred in this manner. Zenz recommended that the European parliament adopt similar measures taken by the US to counter Uyghur forced labor through the implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). The hearing was led by MEP Maria Arena, Chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights.
MEP Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Renew Europe Group’s Coordinator in the Subcommittee on Human Rights, who also commented on the modern slavery and forced labor during the hearing, had this to say, when MEPs were sanctioned by China in May 2021, “China’s response, sanctioning fellow Members and the Subcommittee of Human Rights, is a clear and flagrant demonstration of how dialogue and dissent are not acceptable to the Chinese government. The aggressiveness and senselessness of its unjust action shows us how sanctions targeting those responsible for Human Rights violations in China are more relevant than ever.”
Campaign For Uyghurs Executive Director Rushan Abbas and Abdulhakim Idris, the Executive Director of Center for Uyghur Studies both attended the hearing at the EU Parliament. Rushan said “China, through its human rights violations and the genocide being committed on the Uyghurs goes against Europe’s democratic, ethical and moral values. The products made by Uyghur forced labor should not be imported to the EU. Europe should strongly consider taking tangible actions against China for its crimes of modern day slavery and for every European country to create Uyghur support groups within their parliaments”.
A more cohesive approach needs to be taken by a coalition of nations in executing real action against the Chinese regime for its Genocide and use of Uyghur Slave labor in East Turkistan. This includes, but not limited to, stringently implementing laws which are already in place to stop the import of goods from East Turkistan, made from Slave labor into Europe, working with anti-forced labor groups to be informed and up to date with statistics regarding this issue and signing pledges to enforce any and all policies to combat slave labor.