A law banning the importation of goods produced by the forced labor of Uyghur ethnic minorities in a region of China took effect on Tuesday.
President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law in December to prohibit goods that the Chinese government has forced Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim minority group, to produce in the autonomous region of Xinjiang.
The Chinese government has forced at least a million Uyghurs into internment camps. A human rights organization leaked thousands of documents and images last month that appear to show the prisonlike conditions that many Uyghurs have been forced to live in.
The Chinese government has denied allegations of human rights abuses against the Uyghur population.
“The State Department is committed to working with Congress and our interagency partners to continue combating forced labor in Xinjiang and strengthen international coordination against this egregious violation of human rights,” according to a State Department release.
The legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate.
The State Department release says the Biden administration has taken additional steps to hold those responsible for the status of the imprisoned Uyghurs accountable, including placing visa restrictions on certain individuals, issuing sanctions and implementing export controls.
“We are rallying our allies and partners to make global supply chains free from the use of forced labor, to speak out against atrocities in Xinjiang, and to join us in calling on the government of the [People’s Republic of China] to immediately end atrocities and human rights abuses, including forced labor,” the department said.