Lummis, Peters’ Legislation to Combat Human Rights Abuses Advances in Senate

May 27, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and U.S. Senator Gary Peters’ (D-MI) Combating Human Rights Abuses Act was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and will be brought to the Senate floor for a vote. This legislation would direct the Commerce Department to help educate U.S. businesses that are, or are considering, doing business in foreign jurisdictions where significant human rights abuses have occurred, such as Russia and the People’s Republic of China.

“Small businesses across Wyoming want to do right by the workers who produce their products,” said Senator Lummis. “They do not want to empower authoritarian regimes, like those in Russia and China, to commit human rights abuses against their own citizens. This legislation equips businesses with the information they need to make sure their products are not made with slave labor. I am grateful to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Gary Peters to give Wyoming businesses the information they need to protect workers abroad.”

Sen. Lummis cosponsored this bill after recent reports surfaced detailing the Chinese Communist Party’s horrific human rights violations committed against the Muslim Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Region of China. These atrocities include forced sterilization and internment camps, where slave labor is used to produce goods sold around the world. This bill would ensure U.S. companies are aware of the human rights violations happening in countries they do business with. 

The Commerce Department already provides valuable assistance to help U.S. businesses break into new markets and this bipartisan bill would build on existing human rights training for department staff. It ensures that the Department’s workforce is specifically informed about emerging trends and issues when it comes to human rights abuses occurring around the world.

To read the bill, click here.