UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Tuesday announced the new measures, which the Foreign Office says are designed to ensure that all UK organizations “do not contribute to or benefit from human rights abuses in Xinjiang.”
The UK government will also review which UK products can be exported to Xinjiang, and issue new guidelines “outlining the specific risks that companies with links to Xinjiang face … stressing the challenges of effective due diligence there.”
Beijing has long defended the breakdown in Xinjiang as needed to tackle extremism and terrorism, claiming that its facilities are voluntary “training centers”
“The evidence of the scale and severity of the human rights violations committed in Xinjiang against Uyghur Muslims is now far-reaching,” Raab told lawmakers. He said the new measures were intended to “send a clear message that these human rights violations are unacceptable and to protect British companies and public bodies from any involvement or affiliation with them.”
Raab also calls on the UN to gain access to the Xinjiang region to verify allegations of forced labor and other human rights violations.