The United States and Japan have established a task force to safeguard human rights in supply chains in response to concerns regarding China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the cotton-producing Xinjiang region.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the trade representatives of the two nations to establish a task group to guarantee that supply chains abide by international labour laws and human rights norms. Additionally, the two nations invited other nations to support their cause. A roundtable with Japanese businessmen was also held to discuss ways to stop the use of unethical labour practises in supply chains.

They organised a roundtable discussion on reducing the use of forced labour in supply chains with Japanese industry representatives and invited other governments to participate. The officials of the two governments agreed that in order to make a change that will last and be effective, Japan and the US require partners from other essential stakeholders like businesses, civil society, and labour unions. They made an appeal to all parties involved and to all governments to uphold the dignity of workers everywhere.

More than a million Uyghur Muslims who are detained in the Xinjiang area are reportedly made to work as slaves in the cotton sector. The task force will consist of the two MOU signatories, representatives from the Japanese foreign ministry, the US Departments of Labor, Commerce, Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and State, in addition to meeting twice a year.