China: Global call for international human rights monitoring mechanisms on China | Joint letter

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Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada joins more than 300 civil society groups in a joint open letter to the UN Secretary General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN member states to call for an international mechanism to address human rights violations by China.

Global call for international human rights monitoring mechanisms on China

An open letter to: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Member States

We, the undersigned organizations, join together to call for an international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations, and urge you to take decisive action to achieve this goal.

On 26 June 2020, an unprecedented 50 United Nations experts called for “decisive measures to protect fundamental freedoms in China.” They highlighted China’s mass human rights violations in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang, suppression of information in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, and attacks on rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and critics of the government across the country.

Our organizations are also concerned about the impact of China’s rights violations world-wide. China has targeted human rights defenders abroad, suppressed academic freedom in countries around the world, and engaged in internet censorship and digital surveillance. We deplore China’s promotion of rights-free development and the ensuing environmental degradation at the hands of government-backed extractive industries, as well as the racist treatment of people in China, or by Chinese state actors in other parts of the world.

We are dismayed at China’s efforts to distort the mandate of the UN Human Rights Council by promoting “cooperation” over accountability, and opposing initiatives to bring scrutiny of serious rights violations and international crimes in countries around the world. It has used its seat on the UN’s NGO Committee to baselessly deny accreditation to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), while accrediting government-organized NGOs (GoNGOs). It has sought to deny access to human rights defenders to UN premises, denounced speakers on NGO side events as “terrorists,” and threatened delegates to deter them from attending UN side events on rights violations, including abuses in Xinjiang.

When the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Procedures, and dozens of states urged China to comply with international human rights standards, China contended that they were “improper remarks” that “grossly interfered” with China’s sovereignty.

A state that tries to hold itself above any kind of scrutiny presents a fundamental threat to human rights. That China—a state with extraordinary global power—expects such treatment affects us all.

We therefore endorse the call by UN experts for a Special Session of the Human Rights Council to evaluate the range of violations by China’s government, and to establish an impartial and independent UN mechanism to closely monitor, analyze, and report annually on that topic. We urge the UN Secretary-General to appoint a Special Envoy, consistent with his Call to Action on Human Rights, and we call on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to fulfil her independent mandate to monitor and publicly report on China’s sweeping rights violations. We support the call that UN member states and UN agencies use all interactions with Chinese authorities to insist that the government comply with its international human rights obligations.

We write in the spirit of global solidarity and partnership, urging that you act swiftly to counter and remediate grave human rights violations committed by Chinese authorities. No state should be above the law.


ACAT Belgium
ACAT Germany (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture)
ACAT-France (action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture)
Acceso a la Justicia
Access Now
Acción Solidaria
Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture au Burundi(Acat-Burundi)
Adivasi-Koordination in Germany
African Law Foundation (AFRILAW)
AfricanDefenders (Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network)
Agir ensemble pour les droits de l’Homme
Agora Society Malaysia
Alliance Canada Hong Kong
Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme
Amnestie Internationale Canada francophone
Amsterdam stands with Hong Kong
Arab Watch Regional Coalition
Asia Democracy Network (ADN)
Asia Pacific Permanent Peace Alliance
Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL)
Asian Solidarity Council for Freedom and Democracy
Asociación Civil Fuerza, Unión, Justicia, Solidaridad y Paz (FUNPAZ)
Australia Tibet Council
Australian Centre for International Justice
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
Australian Uyghur Association
Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales
Benteng Heritage Musrum
Body & Data
Building Inclusive Society Tanzania Organization (BISTO).
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Cambodia Center for Human Rights
Cambodian Alliance of Trade Union [CATU] Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement
Campaign for Uyghurs
Canada Tibet Committee (CTC)
Canada-Hong Kong Link
Central Taiwan Society
Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo SJ” (CSMM)
Centro de Justicia y Paz – Cepaz
Centro para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos Universidad Central de Venezuela
ChangSha FuNeng
China Aid
China Change
China Constitutional Democracy Promotion Association
Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Civilis Derechos Humanos
Clean Clothes Campaign
Coalition Burkinabé des Défenseurs des Droits Humains ( CBDDH)
Coalition des Defenseurs Des Droits Humais (Benin)CDDH-Benin
Coalition for Genocide Response
Coalition Togolaise des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CTDDH)
COC Nederland
Comité Permanente de Derechos Humanos – ACUEM
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peacebuilding
Conectas Direitos Humanos
CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
Defensa en Accion
Défenseur des droits de l’Homme au Niger
Democracy China Media
Dialogue China
Droits Humains Sans Frontières
East Turkistan Australian Association
Endorois Welfare Council
Espacio Público
EXCUBITUS Derechos Humanos en Educacion
Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)
Fédération Euro-méditerranéenne contre les disparitions forcées
Federation for a Democratic China 民主中国陣線
FOVIDA – Fomento de la Vida
Frankfurt Stands With Hong Kong
Free Tibet
Freedom House
Fridays for Future, PCT
Friends of Beanstalk Association, Taiwan
Friends of Canada India
Friends of Tibet – Austria
Friends of Tibet (NZ)
Front Line Defenders
Fundacion Aguaclara
Fundación La Tortuga
Fundación Prodefensa del Derecho a la Educación y la Niñez
Fundaciónpara el Debido Proceso Fundepro
Ghjtrn для трансгендерных людей и их близких T*Revers
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Global Justice Center
Global Pinoy Diaspora Canada
Green Advocates International
Groupe de Recherche et de Plaidoyer sur les Industries Extractives (GRPIE)
Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete-Portugal
Halifax Hong Kong Link
Hanbyun (Lawyers for Human Rights and Unification of Korea)
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights
Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley
Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC)
Hong Kong Global Connect
Hong Kong Watch
Human Rights Defenders Network-SL
Human Rights First
Human Rights Foundation (Japan) 【日本人権財団】
Human Rights in China
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Without Frontiers International
Humanists International
Humanitarian China
Humanity Beyond Borders
ICNA Council for Social Justice
Illa Centro de Educación y Comunicación
In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)
Independ Journalist Association of Vietnam
India Alliance for Child Rights
Institut des Médias pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (IM2DH)
Institute for Asian Democracy
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute
International Campaign for the Rohingya
International Campaign for Tibet
International Coalition for Papua
International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
International Commission of Jurists
International Society for Human Rights, Munich
International Tibet Network
Japan Uyghur Association
Japan Uyghur Union
Judicial Reform Foundation
Justice Access Point Uganda
Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE)
Karapatan Alliance Philippines
KontraS (The Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence)
Lady Liberty Hong Kong
Lawyers for Lawyers
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Le Comité pour la liberté à Hong Kong
Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany LSVD
LGBT social movement “REVERS”
Liberty and Democracy Advocacy Club University of Calgary
Liên Đoàn Công Giáo Việt Nam tại Đức
Logos ID
MAFAPO ( madres de los falsos positivos de colombia)
Mazingira Network – Tanzania (MANET)
Meru youth empowerment centre
Miloon Kothari individually as an independent expert and former UN Special Rapporteur
MINBYUN – Lawyers for a Democratic Society International Solidarity Committee
Minority Rights Group International
Monitor Social A.C.
Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies
Mouvement Lao pour les Droits de l’Homme
Movimiento Manuela Ramos
Ms. Enakshi Ganguly individually as an independent expert
MUHURI (Muslims for Human Rights)
Nafas LGBT Azerbaijan Alliance
Nako cc
Namibia Diverse Women’s Association (NDWA)
National Party of Japan
Netherlands for Hong Kong
No Business With Genocide
Northern California Hong Kong Club
NY4HK ( New Yorkers Supporting Hong Kong )
Otus Books
Pacific Human Rights Initiative
PEN America
People Go Network
People’s Watch
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
Philippine Human Rights Information Center
Planet Ally
Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea)
Progressive Voice
PSCORE (People for Successful COrean REunification)
Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights
Red Corpora en Libertad
Red de Activistas Ciudadanos por los Derechos Humanos (Redac)
René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF)
Réseau International des Droits Humains RIDH
Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains/West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network
Réseau Saharaius
Rights and Security International
Safeguard Defenders
Save Our Borneo
Save Tibet Austria
Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace
SFT Japan
Society for Threatened Peoples – Germany
Solidarité Chine
Solidarity Sisters Network of Liberia (SoSNoL)
Sounds of the Silenced
Southern Africa Human Rights. Defenderss Network- SAHRDN
Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda
Southern Mongolia Congress
Sova Center for Information and Analysis
Stand with HK@JPN
Students For a Free Tibet- India
Sustainable Holistic Development Foundation (SUHODE)
Taiwan Kenkyu Rondan 台湾研究フォーラム
Tanzania Human Rights Defenders’s Coalition
Tata Trusts
The Lesbian and Gay Association of Liberia (LEGAL)
The Rights Practice
The Society to Help Returnees to North Korea
The Tibet Support Committee, Denmark
Think Differently Center
Tibet Committee of Fairbanks, Alaska and Alaskans for Tibet
Tibet Justice Center
Tibet Support Group Ireland
Toronto Association for Democracy in China
Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG)
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Una Ventana a la Libertad
United Belize Advocacy Movement
University of Waterloo Lion Rock Spirit
Uyghur Association of Victoria, Australia
Uyghur Human Rights Project
Uyghur Projects Foundation
Uyghur Refugee Relief Fund
Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project
VAJ Vietnamese Association in Japan
Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement
Vancouver Society of Freedom, Democracy & Human Rights for China
Vancouverites Concerned About Hong Kong
Verein für sozial-ökologischen Wandel
VETO! Human Rights Defenders’ Network
Viet Tan
Vietnam Human Rights Network
Visual Artists Guild
Wanawake Tanzania Tunaweza (Tanzania Women We Can)
Witness Radio – Uganda
Women Against Violence and Exploitation in Society
Women’s March Global
Working Group on India and the UN (WGHR)
World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy
World Uyghur Congress
Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia (YLBHI) / Indonesia Legal Aid Foundation
yBy Media
Young Queer Alliance
Youth Empowerment and Development Association-sierra
Комитет “Гражданское содействие”
Московская Хельсинкская группа
Правозащитный совет Санкт-Петербурга
российское представительство Amnesty International
Сахаровский Центр
チベット問題を考える会 Japan Committee for Tibet
مرصد الصحراء للسلم والديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان
【台灣民間支援香港協會】 Taiwanese Civil Aid to HKers
華人基督徒公義團契 Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness
香港黎明, Dawn of Hong Kong, 香港の夜明け
*Signatories totaled 321 organizations. However, 39 organizations chose to remain anonymous.