Oxebridge has released a “Public Call” document, calling on the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to suspend recognition of accreditations and peer review activities for ISO accreditation and certification bodies operating in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The XUAR is home to “re-education camps” operated by the Chinese government which are used to round up millions of Uyghur Muslim minorities within China. The Uyghurs are then subject to human rights abuses including forced labor and sexual slavery.
Multiple ISO certification and accreditation bodies have, either intentionally or through ignorance, helped prop up the XOAR abuses through the issuance of ISO 45001 and other certifications to companies that benefit from the forced labor of Uyghurs. ISO 45001 allegedly testifies to the “occupational health and safety” of such workplaces, representing a nefarious irony.
CBs involved include Performance Review Institute (PRI), Guardian Independent Certification (GIC), SGS-UK, and Bureau Veritas. A number of Chinese certification bodies are involved, all of which hold accreditation by the Chinese National Accreditation Service (CNAS).
The head of CNAS, Xiao Jianhua, is also the President of the IAF. In 2017, Xiao gave a speech praising China’s “Belt and Road Policy,” which researchers at Stanford University found relied heavily on XUAR forced labor. In that speech, Xiao directly tied the role of the IAF into the success of Belt and Road:
IAF, ILAC and other regional accreditation cooperation organizations have built up multilateral mutual recognition agreement for international accreditation, promoted extensive admission and utilization of accreditation and mutual recognition, constantly developed and coordinated accreditation technologies, and formed a far-ranging international cooperation network, which has laid a solid international accreditation system foundation for the nations alongside “The Belt and Road” to carry out accreditation cooperation.
The Oxebridge Public Call document calls on the IAF to cease all recognition of certificates and accreditations issued in the region, and to forcefully denounce China’s abuses of the Uyghurs.
Oxebridge is also calling on the US Dept. of Defense to retract its requirement that the CMMC Accreditation Body participates in the IAF accreditation scheme. The result, Oxebridge argues, would be de facto DOD support for the Uyghur humanitarian crisis.
The Public Call document may be downloaded here.