News Companies that have undisclosed ties to Xinjiang could be held with fines by the UK Gov

Sep 26, 2012
London, UK
Companies that hide connections with Xinjiang, China, which was alleged with putting minorities and Uhygurs to forced labor, will be fined and sanctioned under new measures by the UK government.

This is to ensure that British companies are not profiting from the human rights violations made in Xinjiang.

The full action taken by the government, as mentioned by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab:

First, today, the FCDO and DIT have issued new, robust and detailed guidance to UK businesses on the specific risks faced by companies with links to Xinjiang and underlining the challenges of conducting effective due diligence there.

A Minister-led campaign of business engagement will reinforce the need for UK businesses to take concerted action to address that particular and specific risk.

Second, we are strengthening the operation of the Modern Slavery Act. The Home Office will introduce fines for businesses that do not comply with their transparency obligations.

And the Home Secretary will introduce the necessary legislation, setting out the level of those fines, as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Third, we announced last September that the transparency requirements that apply to UK businesses under the Modern Slavery Act will be extended to the public sector.

The FCDO will now work with the Cabinet Office to provide guidance and support to UK government bodies to exclude suppliers, where there is sufficient evidence of human rights violations in any of their supply chains.

Let me say that we in the United Kingdom – I think rightly – take pride in the overwhelming majority of British businesses that do business, do so with great integrity and professionalism right around the world. That’s their hallmark, it’s part of our USP as a Global Britain.

It is precisely because of that, that any company profiting from forced labour will be barred from government procurement in this country.

Fourth, the Government will conduct an urgent review of export controls as they apply specifically geographically to the situation in Xinjiang, to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to prevent the export of any goods that could directly or indirectly contribute to human rights violations in that region.

This package put together will help make sure that no British organisations, Government or private sector, deliberately or inadvertently, are profiting from or contributing to human rights violations against the Uyghurs or other minorities in Xinjiang.