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Rubio Introduces Uyghur Policy Act

Apr 7, 2022 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Uyghur Policy Act, a bill to increase U.S. support for the Uyghur diaspora in the United States and other countries, as well as to advocate for improving the conditions of Uyghurs suffering human rights abuses at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). U.S. Representatives Young Kim (R-CA) and Ami Bera (D-CA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives. 
 
Rubio is Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee responsible for overseeing Global Human Rights and the Senate Ranking Member of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
 
“The CCP is carrying out a disgusting campaign of genocide and human rights abuses committed against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. The United States cannot be silent in the face of such horrific abuse,” Rubio said. “I’m proud to introduce legislation to increase awareness and advocacy for Uyghurs, and I urge my colleagues to quickly pass this bill.”  
  
Specifically, the bill:

  • Directs the U.S. Department of State to include Uyghur human rights activists in its U.S. Speaker program to speak at public diplomacy forums in Muslim majority countries about the repression of Uyghurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang. 
  • Requires a strategy from the Department of State on how the Department will seek to use diplomatic meetings with CCP officials in order to gain access to detention facilities in Xinjiang and secure the release of detained Uyghurs. 
  • Requires the U.S. Secretary of State to make available Uyghur language training to Foreign Service Officers (FSOs).
  • Requires that at least one Uyghur-speaking FSO is assigned to each U.S. diplomatic and consular mission in China, Turkey and other nations hosting Uyghur diaspora populations. 
  • Directs the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) to oppose any motion that would prevent consideration of issues related to Uyghurs and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in UN activities.