Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding the Uyghurs and religious freedom in China.
Freedom of religion and belief is very close to my heart and I have raised it numerous times with ministers and on the floor of the House of Commons.
The reports of human rights abuses and forced labour, particularly against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, are harrowing. Ministers tell me the United Kingdom regularly makes representations to the Chinese Government on this, most recently on 9 March when the Foreign Secretary raised UK concerns with his Chinese counterpart.
Moreover, in a statement at China’s Universal Periodic Review on 6 November, the UK Government issued a specific recommendation to China that it implements the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s recommendations on Xinjiang and allows the UN to monitor the implementation.
As well as this, the UK is taking steps, through the Modern Slavery Act, to ensure that goods sold in the UK do not originate from sources that used forced labour, helping companies understand their overseas risks. The UK is committed to the eradication of all forms of forced labour, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals. I am also told that tackling modern slavery is a foreign policy priority.
Thank you again for taking the time to get in touch with me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP