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NEW YORK (June 22, 2022) — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is thrilled to announce that our organization has won a Bronze Lion in the Outdoor Not-for-Profit/Charity/Government category at the 2022 Cannes Lions Awards for our Uyghur forced labor poster campaign initiated last summer. The Cannes Lions Awards are recognized as one of the most prestigious global awards in creative excellence.

According to the Coalition to End Forced Labor in the Uyghur Region, “virtually the entire apparel industry is tainted.” In order to help the public understand this uncomfortable truth, HRF partnered with TAXI, a creative agency based in Canada, to spearhead a guerilla poster campaign throughout New York City. Mimicking a viral fashion marketing campaign, the posters showed blue prison uniforms —  similar to those worn by over a million Uyghurs arbitrarily detained in concentration camps and forced labor facilities across China —  and a QR code, which directed people to a site to learn more about Uyghur forced labor.

“We are excited to see the creative industry acknowledging the pressing issue of Uyghur forced labor,” said HRF President Céline Boustani. “We hope this award will further shine a spotlight on the genocide perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party. Our efforts will continue to bring the importance of human rights to the attention of global audiences.”  In addition to winning this recent Bronze Lion, the campaign has been recognized by the Luum Awardsthe Anthem Awardsthe D&AD Awards and the One Show Awards, among others.

Through HRF’s Wear Your Values program, HRF seeks to educate consumers on the intersection of human rights and the fashion industry and promote supply chain transparency in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes. Recently, to help raise further awareness about the fashion industry’s widespread use of Uyghur forced labor, HRF launched a Google Chrome extension plug-in, the Uyghur Forced Labor Checker, informing consumers whether the brand they are shopping from has publicly committed to fully disengaging with Uyghur forced labor. In April, HRF’s plug-in won The Webby People’s Voice Award in the Public Service & Activism: Advertising, Media & PR category and The Webby Award in the Web Services & Applications: Websites and Mobile Sites category in the 26th annual Webby Awards.

Moreover, HRF welcomes the recent passing in the US of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA). Effective yesterday, Tuesday June 21, 2022, the UFLPA applies a rebuttable presumption that all goods, even those only partly, manufactured in the Uyghur Region are products of forced labor and cannot be imported into the US market. The UFLPA was signed into law by President Biden in December 2021, with widespread bipartisan support in the US Congress.

Wear Your Values is an HRF program that engages the fashion industry in the human rights movement, promotes transparency and human rights in the supply chain, and brings awareness to the hidden social costs of the industry through articles, events, exhibitions, panel discussions, and talks that are designed to educate consumers. HRF is part of the Coalition to End Forced Labour in the Uyghur Region, dedicated to ending forced labor and human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government against the Uyghur population and other Turkic and Muslim-majority people.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.