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NEW YORK (April 27, 2022) — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is pleased to announce that the organization’s Uyghur Forced Labor Checker has 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.

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by The New York TimesThe Webby Awards is the leading international awards organization honoring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996, The Webby Awards receives thousands of entries from all 50 states and 70 countries worldwide, and is judged by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a global organization of industry experts and technology innovators.

To date, more than one million Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim-majority peoples have been arbitrarily detained and forced to work in labor camps across China — simply due to their ethnicity, culture, and religion. Within these facilities, detainees are under constant surveillance, and are subject to torture, rape, forced sterilizations, political indoctrination, and other grave human rights abuses. According to the Coalition to End Uyghur Forced Labour, “virtually the entire apparel industry is tainted” by such forced labor, and most fashion brands have been found to be profiting from this.

In December 2021, HRF launched the Uyghur Forced Labor Checker, a Google Chrome extension plug-in, to raise awareness about the intertwined relationship between the fashion industry and the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Chinese government. Based on the Coalition’s advocacy and research efforts, the plug-in generates a pop-up that informs consumers when they’re shopping from a brand that has not publicly committed to transparently mapping their entire supply chains and fully disengaging with Uyghur forced labor. With this Google Chrome plug-in, HRF hopes to engage consumers and encourage them to shop ethically, right at the point of purchase.

“Uyghur forced labor has become deeply embedded in the global supply chains of some of the world’s largest and most famous brands. The fashion industry must no longer turn a blind eye to the ubiquitous use of such forced labor,” said HRF Senior Strategy and Research Associate Jenny Wang. “We are grateful for this recognition from The Webby Awards, as it helps further remind brands, consumers, and the general public: it’s not enough to live by our values ― we must wear them, too.”

HRF is honored to receive both a Webby People’s Voice Award and a Webby Award this year. The Public Service & Activism: Advertising, Media & PR category honors branded content hubs, videos, articles, or native programs that serve to facilitate political change, public participation in civics, government policies/pursuits, or social activism. The Web Services & Applications: Websites and Mobile Sites category honors sites or web/desktop apps that help people accomplish tasks online, including editing photos, creating/sending documents, finding jobs and homes, and scheduling events.

HRF will be honored at the 26th annual Webby Awards on Monday, May 16, 2022 in New York City. A full list of both The Webby Awards and Webby People’s Voice Winners can be found here.

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

To learn more about the Uyghur genocide, and more broadly the Chinese government’s suppression tactics in the Uyghur Region, read HRF’s report “100 Years of Suppression: The CCP’s Strategies in Tibet, the Uyghur Region, and Hong Kong.”

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 has joined 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 development, design, and maintenance of HRF’s “Uyghur Forced Labor Tracker” is made possible thanks to our friends at TAXI.

For interview requests and media inquiries, contact [email protected].