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 Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs 12:50 pm, 12th January 2021

I thank the hon. Gentleman. He, palpably and sincerely, is committed as I am to doing what we can to have accountability and to deterring the appalling violations of human rights. We have set out the measures on the finance and profiting from it that I think will be important in the way I have described.

In relation to an independent investigation, of course the challenge, as my right hon. Friend Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said, is getting access to the relevant parts of Xinjiang. That is why I believe, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will support this, that one of the things we ought to be doing is gathering as wide as possible a group of like-minded countries to press for the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner to be able to have access. That would have the dual benefit, first, of substantiating the widespread reports of the violations of human rights I have described and, secondly, give China its opportunity to rebut and to reject those claims based on the evidence that it and only it has and can control.