Conservatives call on liberals to ban imports of goods made by forced labor from Xinjiang region
Ottawa (ON) – Garnett Genuis, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Development, and the Hon. Senator Leo Housakos, issued the following press release as they were joined by NBA free agent and world renowned human rights fighter, Enes Kanter Freedom:
“Our government’s inaction to stop products made from forced labor from entering the Canadian market and even our actions as consumers to purchase these products means we are complicit in one of the greatest violations of human rights of our time,” said Senator Housakos.
Mr. Freedom, a longtime critic of the Chinese communist regime and its genocide against Uyghur Muslims, is in Ottawa to raise awareness and support efforts to convince the Canadian government to ban imports of all goods from the Xinjiang region; similar to legislation that will be enacted in the United States later this month.
“Canada is a country built on principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights. That’s why I feel comfortable and excited about traveling to Canada to support bills like Senator Housakos’,” said Mr. Freedom.
“I hope this bill will receive cross-party support. Standing up for human rights and holding dictators to account is something we need to do. By banning imports from the East Turkestan region, a place where genocide is currently taking place, we are saving lives,” he continued.
Senator Housakos, who currently has a public bill in the Senate that would impose such a ban, went on to note that the federal government has not prevented the importation into Canada of any goods suspected of being made by Uyghur slaves. ; despite obligations under the Canada-US-Mexico Free Trade Agreement.
“Canada has failed to meet its obligations under the Genocide Convention. It is confusion and a denial of our responsibilities to the government to suggest that we should not act unless or until there is some resolve on the part of an international body to be identified,” agreed MP Genuis, executive member of Canada-Uyghur Friendship Group in parliament.
Sarah Teich, an international human rights lawyer and senior fellow at the Macdonald Laurier Institute, has joined the call for Canada to do more. Ms Teich was lead counsel for the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project when they were granted intervener status in last year’s court case against the Canada Border Services Agency over their refusal to prevent entry in Canada of goods produced by slaves.
Senator Housakos’ Bill S-204 can be found here.