World Uyghur Congress Parallel Submission to CERD

World Uyghur Congress, 17 July 2018

The World Uyghur Congress submitted a Parallel Report for consideration by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination for China’s review in August 2018. The report is a comprehensive overview of China’s discriminatory treatment of the Uyghur population in East Turkistan – particularly since China’s previous CERD review in 2009.

The report takes a broad look at the issues facing Uyghurs in East Turkistan and analyses the discriminatory policies that undermine the most basic human rights protections that China’s continues to flout. The report covers the following themes in depth and proposes specific questions for Committee members to out to the Chinese delegation during the review in August in Geneva:

  • Equal Treatment Before the Law – Discriminatory treatment of Uyghurs in the criminal justice system and the complete lack of legal rights for Uyghurs in detention. The report also highlights specific allegations of torture of Uyghurs in detention.
  • Counter-terror law – Broad issues associated with China’s recently passed Counter-Terror Law, illustrating that Uyghurs bear the brunt of these policies in practice.
  • Religious Freedom – Broad criminalisation of religious practice for Uyghurs including the Regulation on ‘De-extremification’ and the revisions to the Regulations on Religious Affairs (RRA).
  • Freedom of Opinion & Expression – Cases of countless Uyghurs arrested on charges relating to free expression as well as the inability of Uyghurs to speak on or offline about mildly sensitive subjects.
  • Freedom of Assembly & Association – Numerous cases of Uyghurs having been killed by Chinese police and security forces for peacefully demonstrating in East Turkistan.
  • Freedom of Movement – Discriminatory treatment of Uyghurs in terms of their ability to move within the region itself (police checkpoints and surveillance) or in and out of the country (passport confiscations and effective travel bans).
  • Political Indoctrination Camps – The operation and details of camps holding approximately one million Uyghurs arbitrarily.
  • Economic Rights – Employment policies that discriminate against the Uyghur population, leading to disproportionate unemployment levels as well as the disproportionate state-sponsored development initiatives (OBOR)
  • Education – Discriminatory policies involving China’s purposeful erosion of Uyghur language education and the use of the so-called ‘Bilingual’ Education system.
  • Cultural Participation – The destruction of the Old City of Kashgar and the erosion of the ability of Uyghurs to express their cultural identity.
  • Public Health – Public health concerns for Uyghurs, particularly the effects of nuclear testing at Lop Nur until 1996 that led to significantly increased cancer rates.

The report will contribute to the advocacy efforts by the World Uyghur Congress within the UN Human Rights Treaty Body system and builds on our work in the past at various reviews including by the Committee Against Torture (CAT), Committee Against the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).

The report can be read in full here.