The Plight of Uighurs Raised Again In Parliament – in oral and written questions to the Government. UK says it has played a leading role at the UN Human Rights Council and read out a formal statement on behalf of 28 countries and China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to Xinjiang. Parliament is asked about reports that Uighur Muslim women have been subjected to forced abortions and womb removals, and that Uighur children are being separated from their parents and placed in orphanages. It is asked to support the work of the Independent Tribunal established by sir Geoffrey Nice QC
Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 21 September (HL8043 and HL8044), what action they have taken at (1) the UN General Assembly, and (2) the UN Human Rights Council, to address human rights violations against Uighur Muslims in China; and what assessment they have made of the impact of the government of China’s use of veto powers at the UN Security Council on the way in which they conduct their actions at the UN.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – The UK has played a leading role at the Human Rights Council, and in the UN Third Committee to register the breadth and depth of international concern about the situation in Xinjiang. The UK is the only country to have led formal joint statements on the issue. On 30 June, the UK read out a formal statement on behalf of 28 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly those targeting Uyghurs and other minorities, and urging China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to Xinjiang. On 29 October 2019, the UK read out a statement on Xinjiang on behalf of 23 countries at the UN Third Committee in New York. We will continue to work with international partners at the UN to maximise pressure on the Chinese Government over its egregious human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang.
Lord Alton of Liverpool – To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports (1) that Uighur Muslim women have been subjected to forced abortions and womb removals, (2) that Uighur children are being separated from their parents and placed in orphanages, and (3) of the treatment of those children in such orphanages, in China.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon – We are deeply concerned by reports of suppression of birth rates and the mistreatment of Uyghur children in China, including reports of children being forcibly separated from their parents and placed in state run institutions. As the Minister for Asia set out during an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on 9 September, we are seriously concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. On 25 September, at the UN Human Rights Council, I also raised serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including credible reports of forced labour and forced birth control in the UK’s ‘Item 4′ national statement. It is noteworthy that the Chinese authorities’ own figures show a drastic decline in birth rates in Xinjiang. These reports add to the growing body of evidence about serious and widespread human rights violations taking place in Xinjiang. We continue to raise our concerns at the UN, and directly with China.