China: Human Rights in China – Strengthening Calls for Accountability | Event

Thursday 27 June, 12-1pm, Room XXVII, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Co-sponsored by Human Rights Watch, International Service for Human Rights, Law Council of Australia, International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, Lawyers for Lawyers, and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada

Download the flyer here

Notwithstanding its alarming human rights records, China still remains a member of the Human Rights Council, a position in which they have sought to shield themselves from scrutiny rather than live up to the highest human rights standards. For more than a year, the international community has had access to credible reports and first-hand testimony of the harassment, surveillance, and mass detention of more than one million Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang. At the same time, the 2015 crackdown on lawyers has let in a traumatic state those at the vanguard of human rights protection. Against a complete collapse of the Rule of Law and human rights in China, the attempt from the Government of Hong Kong to pass a bill facilitating extradition to mainland China generated unprecedented protests since early June 2019.

The side event will address those key issues, which all together contribute to illustrate bigger structural problems in the country.  It will also be the occasion to reiterate the call upon the Council to take urgent action to seek access, monitoring and reporting of the situation to hold China accountable for large scale human rights violations. The situation in Xinjiang is a test of the Council’s prevention mandate, adherence to its membership criteria, and its willingness and ability to put universal human rights above economic interests and political expediency.


  • John Fisher, Human Rights Watch, Geneva Director
  • Sarah M Brooks, International Service for Human Rights, Asia advocate
  • Arthur Moses SC, Law Council of Australia, President (video intervention)

Moderated by Claire Denman, CSW, Geneva representative.