The Toronto Globe and Mail reported that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has seized a shipment of goods from China that were made with forced labor, although the details on the seizure were not disclosed.

The report states that a CBSA spokesperson said that "customs officials had seized a shipment of women’s and children’s clothing that arrived in Quebec from China, on the belief that it was 'manufactured or produced wholly or in part by forced labour.'" It also notes that CBSA "did not disclose the date of the seizure and said confidentiality rules prevented it from identifying the importer."

Back in January, the Canadian government announced new measures to address human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

At that time, Canada said it was "gravely concerned with evidence and reports of human rights violations in the People’s Republic of China involving members of the Uyghur ethnic minority and other minorities within the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), including repressive surveillance, mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment, forced labour and mass transfers of forced labourers from Xinjiang to provinces across China."

It further stated that, "[i]n coordination with the United Kingdom and other international partners," it was "adopting a comprehensive approach to defending the rights of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, including by advancing measures to address the risk of goods produced from forced labour from any country from entering Canadian and global supply chains and to protect Canadian businesses from becoming unknowingly complicit."

The approach includes seven measures, one of which was: "The Prohibition of imports of goods produced wholly or in part by forced labour."

In July of this year, there were reports of complaints from human rights campaigners that the Canadian regulations related to forced labor were not being enforced.

It is possible that the Canadian government action here is a response to these criticisms. In addition to the seizure of these Chinese goods, the government has also suspended imports from a Malaysian glove maker based on similar labor concerns.