Jan. 25, 2024—The United Kingdom (“UK”)-based Anti-Slavery International, in combination with the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice at Sheffield Hallam University, has published a series of reports addressing the issue of forced labor in solar and electric vehicle supply chains relating to Uyghur and other Turkic ethnic minorities. These reports aim to assist investors, governments, and other key stakeholders in the green energy sector transition away from the fossil fuel economy without becoming reliant on renewable energy and other clean technology products manufactured using state-imposed forced labor.

Forced labor has long been a target of the United States government with the most recent and expansive action to address forced labor to date being the enactment of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”) in 2021. The UFLPA establishes a rebuttable presumption that any goods mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the XUAR, or produced by entities on the UFLPA Entity List are made with forced labor.  While the UK and many of its allies have begun taking steps to eradicate the use of forced labor in manufacturing supply chains, some—including legislators and activists—have argued that more is needed to combat forced labor practices. Interested parties can access the investor guidance, a policy brief addressed to the UK government, and a research summary for free.

Crowell & Moring, LLP continue to monitor forced labor and its potential impact to businesses and consumers moving forward.