The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, signed by President Biden on December 23, 2021, to eliminate the practices of forced labor in China. The bill imposes import limitations on goods that are produced using forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China.
Forced labor is a serious situation as it also involves minors as well as mentally disabled people who are forced to work under the worst conditions.
The article explains what Uyghur Forced Labor looks like and what practices can help control it.
How Will This Bill Affect Import of Goods from XUAR?
Even though only 0.01% of total imported goods in the US come from the XUAR, the overall amount of imported goods is valued at around US$ 300 million, which is huge. And these volumes are known to be rising rapidly.
The raw material and other items produced from Uyghur forced labor are integrated into hundreds of other products manufactured in other parts of China. About one-fifth of the world’s overall cotton is produced in the regions of China known for forced labor.
Since China is known to be the largest producer of cotton, yarn, and other similar commodities used for the production of finished products, most of the raw material is produced in factories where forced labor is a common practice.
What Can be Done to Prevent Forced Labor?
Companies can take powerful steps to prevent the Uyghur forced labor. The raw material companies as well as the manufacturers need to understand and document their supply chain. Not only do they need to know who is supplying goods to them, but also who’s supplying their supplier.
Control your contract with the supplier and amend the clauses if you see any risks related to forced labor. Companies can stop purchasing raw materials from suppliers who have a history of buying from entities involved in forced labor.
Audit your supply chain by hiring a specialist to eliminate the chances of accidentally collaborating with companies that are discovered to be using forced labor. If a supplier fails to disclose the entity from whom it buys goods or raw materials, take charge to inspect things.
If you discover or suspect forced labor in your supply chain, find another supplier even if It increases your cost of goods. It’s better to part ways with the suppliers deemed responsible for unethical business practices.
Moreover, it is the sole responsibility of the importer to incorporate the code of conduct into its contract as well as the supply chain. Also, the importers must also monitor the supplier’s compliance with the prevention of forced labor act and the code of conduct.
Help End Uyghur Forced Labor
Many non-profit organizations are taking steps to make a significant change in the lives of Uyghur and other minorities.
Banning products that are produced in the XUAR through forced labor practices can make a considerable impact. Companies must cut ties with the suppliers of goods involved in forced labor practices.
Law enforcement institutions also require to take strict actions to stop Uyghur forced labor across the country.