Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL11515):
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that Uighur forced labour is being used in Xinjiang for the production of cotton for garments sold internationally; and what action they intend to take for breaches of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. (HL11515)
Tabled on: 16 December 2020
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
The Government takes all allegations of modern slavery and forced labour extremely seriously, including the growing reports of forced labour in Xinjiang. We have repeatedly urged businesses involved in investing in Xinjiang, or with parts of their supply chains in the region, to conduct appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support any human rights violations or abuses.
Under the Modern Slavery Act, the UK is the first country in the world to require businesses to report on the action they are taking to tackle and prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. Following an independent review, the Home Office announced plans in September to strengthen the Act and the transparency in thousands of business and public body supply chains. These measures will require legislative change and will be introduced as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
Date and time of answer: 23 Dec 2020 at 16:38.