The Price Of Freedom: A Law Meant To Curb Slave Labor And Its Costs – Above the Law

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Close up hand of woman prisoner holding old iron bar in jail.On the heels of Juneteenth, it is important to think about its history and how it should be honored in days to come. Take Martin Luther King Day, for example. Done well, the holiday is more than just an excuse to take the day off and catch up on True Blood. It is a day of service, and for good reason:
No matter the choice, service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community. It breaks down barriers by bringing people from different backgrounds together and it benefits those who choose to serve. Coretta Scott King said, “The greatest birthday gift my husband could receive is if people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds celebrated the holiday by performing individual acts of kindness through service to others.”
Moving in that spirit, Juneteenth should be thought of as a day of abolition. What better homage to those denied freedom than to pay freedom forward to those in bondage today?
[The Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act], which went into effect on Tuesday, bars products from entering the United States if they have any links to Xinjiang, the far-western region where the Chinese authorities have carried out an extensive crackdown on Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities.
That could affect a wide range of products, including those using any raw materials from Xinjiang or with a connection to the type of Chinese labor and poverty alleviation programs the U.S. government has deemed coercive — even if the finished product used just a tiny amount of material from Xinjiang somewhere along its journey.

“This is not like a ‘picking needles out of a haystack’ problem,” he said. “This is touching a meaningful percentage of all of the world’s everyday goods.”
We’re probably on the cusp of a recession — talking points about prices and who is to blame are on the way. Keep in mind that there are more costs than economic. Some costs are human. And the costs are everywhere. Here’s a light list of some names that might be worth watching if abolition is on the mind: Nestlé, Apple, among others.
Toward freedom.
Companies Brace for Impact of New Forced Labor Law [NYT]
China: 83 Major Brands Implicated In Report On Forced Labour Of Ethnic Minorities From Xinjiang Assigned To Factories Across Provinces; Includes Company Responses [Business HumanRights]
Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at and by tweet at @WritesForRent.
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