Xinjiang: Forced Labour

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:50 pm on 12th January 2021.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 12:50 pm, 12th January 2021

I thank the Foreign Secretary for his statement. I believe that he cares about these issues, as we all do, and I was pleased to hear him say that more must be done. He also mentioned:

“Internment camps, arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture and forced sterilisation—all on an industrial scale.”

Horrific and barbaric, yes, but there is another word and it is genocide.

Given China’s blocking of routes to pursue genocide amendments through international courts, does not the UK have a responsibility, in line with its obligations under the genocide convention, to find alternative routes to make the legal determination? Will the Foreign Secretary clarify the Government’s position, which previously was that the determination of genocide is a matter for judges, not politicians? He seemed to contradict that a little today. I echo what has already been said about coming up with an amendment that can get cross-party support: this House clearly wants to discuss this issue and do something about it; we must act and not stand by.