Adopted by the 2021 Delegates Assembly

Sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Indianapolis, Jewish Community Relations Council of Palm Beach County, JCRC/AJC Detroit, Jewish Community Relations Council of Toledo, Jewish Community Relations Council of Silicon Valley, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and the Rabbinical Assembly

On January 19, 2021, the United States government determined there was irrefutable evidence that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaging in gross human rights violations against the Uyghur Muslim ethnic minority that constitute genocide based upon the definition outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to which China and the United States are signatories. Since the late 1980s, the CCP has engaged in an oppressive campaign against the Uyghurs, who primarily reside in the northwestern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). As part of a crackdown in early 2017, the CCP constructed a vast network of detention and forced labor camps throughout the XUAR that now intern millions of people and established sophisticated surveillance systems to ensure the remaining Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Muslim minority populations comply with a vast array of restrictions. The CCP claims these camps are “vocational training centers” aimed at “reeducating” the Uyghur population and “countering Islamic extremism.” However, testimonies from survivors and leaked CCP documents paint a vastly different picture.

Reports indicate the CCP has and continues to engage in the following actions:

  1. Forcibly removing Uyghur children from their parents;
  2. Arbitrarily detaining and “disappearing” Uyghur intellectuals;
  3. Using the Uyghur population for organ harvesting and forced labor;
  4. Sanctioning the rape of Uyghur women and forcing them to marry ethnic Han Chinese;
  5. Carrying out the destruction of Uyghur religious practices, cultural customs, and Turkic language;
  6. Performing forced sterilization and abortions;
  7. Resettling the XUAR with ethnic Han Chinese;
  8. Forcing the Uyghur population to assimilate in an attempt to eradicate their ethnic identity;
  9. Carrying out extrajudicial killings of Uyghurs.

Reports also indicate that the 2-3 million detainees within the camps are subjected to forced political indoctrination, physical torture, food deprivation, over-crowded conditions, and sanctioned rape. Uyghurs who have yet to be interned in the camps are subject to 24-hour surveillance and required to attend political meetings, take part in written and spoken Mandarin language classes, and face harsh religious observance restrictions, such as the forced burning of prayer rugs and consumption of non-halal food. Uyghurs have been forced to surrender their passports and must receive special permission from local officials to leave their home villages, which severely limits their right to freedom of movement outlined in Article 13 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Further complicating the issue is the deep entrenchment of global supply chains within the region. The XUAR is a major source of textiles, hair products, thread/yarn, tomato products, polysilicon (a component in solar panels), electronic components, and approximately 20% of the world’s supply of cotton. Multiple American companies source materials that can be traced back to Uyghur forced labor in the XUAR or other provinces containing Uyghur forced labor camps. The bipartisan United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China has found that all companies doing business in XUAR are at high risk of complicity in forced labor, and the CCP’s repressive policies make it nearly impossible to conduct due diligence.6 In late 2020, several major American corporations lobbied against legislation that would require them to disclose their supply chains, citing that broadened legislation would wreak havoc on global supply chains.7 Corporations also noted that China’s lack of transparency makes it increasingly difficult, and therefore expensive, to trace the source of raw materials. While China’s economy booms, Uyghurs continue to suffer to maintain a supply of cheap products. While the United States has taken moderate steps to ban products sourced out of the XUAR, more stringent legislation and corporate accountability is required.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes that:

The Jewish community relations field should:

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