China: Oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council | Joint statement

LRWC was among  26 NGOs and civil society organizations supporting a Statement delivered 21 June 2021 to the UN Human Rights Council by the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) at the UN Human Rights Council. See the full statement below and attached (pdf). See the list of endorsing organizations.

Statement at 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: interactive dialogue with the high commissioner

Delivered by: Sarah M Brooks

Madame High Commissioner,

ISHR delivers this statement on behalf of a number of international, regional and national-level organisations and networks. The full list will be sent to the Secretariat.

As you must be aware, the human rights situation in China, and especially in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, remains dire. Major research reports published by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in the last two months independently reach the conclusion that the Chinese government is committing crimes against humanity against its Turkic Muslim population. The international community, this Council, and your Office cannot remain silent.

We support the efforts of the UN human rights mechanisms to raise concerns, and recognize that the Special Procedures and treaty bodies have done so, repeatedly, for the last five years. We request that you, Madame High Commissioner, urgently strengthen remote monitoring and initiate public reporting on the human rights situation across China, focusing especially on Uyghur and Tibetan regions and Hong Kong.

This is essential to providing objective, independent and concrete information to all stakeholders, and to seeking constructive solutions to protect vulnerable populations from further violations.

In your last update to this Council, you pointed to the curtailment of fundamental rights and civic freedoms in the name of national security, which is focused especially in Tibetan and Uyghur regions; you pointed to restrictions on free speech and detentions linked to the Covid-19 response; the investigation of protesters in Hong Kong; and arbitrary criminal charges, detention and unfair trials of lawyers, journalists and human rights defenders.

In the months since, little has changed. More is needed.

We acknowledge your call – now almost three years ago – for unfettered access to ‘all regions of China’. We emphasise that access is not a prerequisite for effective monitoring, public reporting and accountability. Ongoing negotiations should not delay urgently needed action.

Civil society stands ready to be an ally in your efforts to better understand, document and engage on the situation in China. However, we underline the high likelihood of reprisals against defenders and others, both in the country and in exile.

Human rights violations across China, Uyghur and Tibetan regions, as well as Hong Kong have become increasingly severe over the last years, even while Chinese authorities have consistently denied meaningful access to the region. The victims and communities urgently need increased resources and innovative responses from you, your Office, and the United Nations as a whole.

Thank you.

List of cosponsoring NGOs and other endorsing civil society organizations.

Asterisks (*) indicate NGOs in consultative status with the UN ECOSOC.

  1. Amnesty International*,
  2. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)*,
  3. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies*,
  4. CIVICUS*,
  5. Campaign for Uyghurs,
  6. China Aid Association,
  7. Clean Clothes Campaign,
  8. CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)*,
  9. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)*,
  10. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect,
  11. Human Rights Watch*,
  12. International Bar Association – Human Rights Institute*,
  13. International Campaign for Tibet,
  14. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)*,
  15. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)*,
  16. International Tibet Network Secretariat,
  17. Lawyer’s Rights Watch Canada*,
  18. René Cassin, the Jewish voice for human rights*,
  19. Safeguard Defenders,
  20. Students for a Free Tibet,
  21. The Rights Practice,
  22. Tibet Initiative Deutschland e.V.,
  23. Tibet Justice Initiative,
  24. Uyghur Human Rights Project,
  25. Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project,
  26. World Uyghur Congress.