110th Session of the International Labor Conference, June 2022
Committee on the Application of Standards (CAS)
Peoples Republic of China (PRC) – Convention No. 111
Statement of the United States Government
As Delivered by Ambassador Sheba Crocker
The United States shares the Committee of Experts’ “deep concern” regarding the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) policies toward Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.
Specifically, the Committee’s observations highlight discriminatory policies that permit the arbitrary detention of members of these groups ostensibly for “reeducation.” We are also disturbed by policies that incentivize or require businesses and trade unions to engage in such abusive practices.
The PRC submitted information in response to these concerns, explaining that its policies are non-discriminatory, voluntary, and used to alleviate poverty. However, publicly available PRC policy documents and countless victim testimonies, detailing coercive recruitment, limitations of movement and communication, and constant surveillance, instead clearly demonstrate systemic violations of labor and human rights.
Critically, the PRC fails to address the arbitrary detainment of more than one million Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, including approximately 100,000 individuals who may be working in conditions of forced labor following detention in internment camps.
We call on the PRC to immediately end its discriminatory policies and abuses against minority groups. To that end, we urge the PRC to take effective action to:
· fully implement the recommendations of the Committee of Experts;
· avail itself of ILO technical assistance, including to effectively implement Conventions 105 and 29 following successful ratification; and
· accept a high-level tripartite mission to further investigate the allegations and provide full and unhindered access, including meaningful, unrestricted, and unsupervised access to all relevant organizations, individuals, and locations implicated in the system of detention.
The PRC’s existing policies and practices are in clear violation of its obligations under Convention 111 and commitments in the ILO’s 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. It is our strong view this Committee’s conclusions merit inclusion in a special paragraph of the report.
Thank you, Chair.