End Exploitation of Persecuted Minorities on Cotton Farms

Target: Chen Quanguo, Communist Party Secretary of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China

Goal: Stop forced labor performed by persecuted minorities on cotton farms.

Over half a million people are forced to pick cotton by hand in southern Xinjiang, China’s westernmost province and home to large populations of Muslim minorities. According to numerous human rights organizations, Uyghurs, Hui, Kazakhs, and other groups in the region have been subjected to extensive abuses, including arbitrary imprisonment and forced labor for over a decade. Reports have surfaced that members of these groups may have been coerced into working on cotton farms as part of so-called “labor transfer programs.” These laborers are held in barracks far from their homes and undergo abusive ideological training to discourage them from practicing their traditional cultures and religion, or “illegal religious activities.”

Sadly, this is only the latest development in China’s continued persecution of minorities, which has included forced sterilizations and extensive surveillance, in what critics describe as a modern genocide. The Chinese government has no right to continue this brutal repression or to force any of its citizens to perform work without their consent. Sign the petition below to demand that this practice be stopped immediately.


Dear Secretary Chen,

Even as the international community condemns China’s treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang, your party continues to develop new ways to abuse and exploit them while proclaiming your own innocence. The use of forced labor to pick millions of tons of cotton by hand is a despicable abuse of Uyghurs and other minorities, already subjected to extensive cruelty and human rights violations as Beijing works to destroy minorities’ cultures and faiths.

As the Communist Party’s ranking official in Xinjiang, it falls to you to enforce the articles of the Chinese constitution guaranteeing human rights, dignity, and freedom of religion. I demand that you end the use of forced labor in Xinjiang’s cotton fields.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Kimberly Vardeman

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