Despite CCP attempts to prevent it from happening UN Member States have called for further engagement and action to end human rights violations against Uyghurs
The UN briefing meeting was sponsored by 18 UN Member States along with civil society groups. It was a very welcome display of international solidarity against Genocide.
In an attempt to stop it from happening the CCP issued a note to UN Member States telling them not to attend the event.
Permanent Representatives from Germany, the UK and the US stood together and expressed concern about widespread and credible allegations of severe human rights abuses against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang.
Germany’s Permanent Representative H.E. Christoph Heusgen told the CCP to “tear down the detention camps”.
Attention was drawn to human rights violations including forced labour; the criminalisation of religion, and the use of forced sterilisation and birth control.
CSW reported that Eva Pils, a Professor of Law at King’s College London, also drew attention to the intimidation of Uyghurs living overseas, while Kenneth Roth, Executive Director at Human Rights Watch, pointed out the ‘public silence’ of the UN Secretary General and expressed disappointment that the High Commissioner for Human Rights ‘chose not to attend’ the event
Dr Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International and former UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, emphasised that standing up to China was not about picking sides in a fight among states, but about fighting for human rights and for the integrity of the international human rights framework.
Further steps towards to stopping the atrocities were discussed, including a UN Human Rights Council resolution mandated to investigate and report on the situation of human rights in the region, and the need to tighten rules on supply chains in light of credible reports of forced labour.
CSW’s United Nations Officer Claire Denman said: “The increasing willingness of UN Member States to take a stand on the issue of human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in the Uyghur region gives us hope that one day the government of China will be held to account for violations against its people. We urge Member States to support the recommendations made during the event, enacting calls for an independent investigative mechanism and promoting efforts to hold those responsible for violations to account.”
New research from the Australian Strategy Policy Institute, published on 12 May, finds that Xinjiang had a drop in birth rates from 2017-2019 described as “proportionally the most extreme over a two-year period globally since 1950”, with the 48.74% decline concentrated in areas with many predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, based on Chinese government statistics. Uyghur and Kazakh women who have fled China have reported being subject to forced birth control measures including sterilisation and the insertion of intrauterine devices (IUDs).