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Rubio, Menendez Introduce Bill to Expand Sanctions on Uyghur Human Rights Abusers

Aug 2, 2022 | Press Releases

Currently, U.S. law authorizes mandatory sanctions on any foreign persons involved in severe human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic groups in Xinjiang, including those connected to Uyghur slave labor. However, companies doing business with these sanctioned persons can still access the U.S. financial system. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Sanctioning Supporters of Slave Labor Act to expand the current scope of sanctions on those committing human rights abuses against Uyghurs. The bill would impose secondary sanctions on those that do business with and provide support for foreign entities who have been sanctioned for their Uyghur human rights abuse. A companion bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN). 

  • “The Chinese Communist Party’s abuse of Uyghurs is well-documented in horrific detail. It is not enough to sanction those directly responsible for these crimes — we also need to hold their supporters accountable. Anyone who enables these evil acts should not be benefiting from U.S. financial markets.” — Senator Rubio

  • “There is no question that the People’s Republic of China has committed a despicable campaign of genocide against the Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in Xinjiang or that Uyghur forced labor continues to threaten to adulterate global supply chains. The administration must move forward with sanctions designations under the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, as well as with the new authorities that this bill provides, and work with our allies and partners to hold China to account for its crimes.” — Senator Menendez, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations


Senators Rubio and Menendez introduced the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act, which first authorized sanctions on entities responsible for human rights abuses against Uyghurs. It was the first piece of legislation regarding Uyghurs in the world to be signed into law.