Responsive Image



Press Release – For immediate release
31 October 2022
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC)welcomes the first debate on the M-62 motion in the Canadian parliament, on October 26. This motion is the first in the world requesting a government to a create a resettlement program to expedite the entry of 10,00 Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims. The motion debated in Parliament last week received unanimous support. 

The motion was first introduced on June 20, 2022 by Liberal MP, Sameer Zuberi. This was following the recognition by the Canadian Parliament of the Uyghur genocide in February 2021, where the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development made an explicit recommendation that the government should ‘’use existing refugee programs and create an exceptional stream to expedite’’ the entry of Uyghur and other Turkic refugees into Canada.

‘’This is an incredibly important motion, not only because of its magnitude, but also because it directly offers help to victims of the Uyghur genocide,’’ said WUC President, Dolkun Isa. ‘’The Uyghur community is extremely grateful for Sameer Zuberi’s efforts on this matter as well as all the MPs who have supported the bill.’’

In recent years, Uyghurs have been increasingly facing state-led transnational repression abroad. Uyghurs who are not firmly settled in third countries face an exceptional risk of detention and refoulement, and many have faced harrrassment and intimidation by local authorities, often at the request of Chinese authorities. 

Since 2016, the Chinese government has carried out a policy of mass, arbitrary detention of Uyghurs, prohibiting the exercice of their most fundamental rights, including religious, linguistic, and cultural rights; state-sponsored forced labour; imprisonment and enforced disappearences; and forced sterilisation and birth prevention policies. These severe crimes have been recognized as crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity by parliamentary bodies around the world, the Uyghur Tribunal and the United States. 

The August 31 OHCHR report also highlights the gravity of the situation for Uyghur and Turkic refugees. 

It has been well-established that all Uyghurs and Turkic peoples forcibly returned to China would be at serious risk of persecution.

The principle of non-refoulement firmly establishes that no one should be returned to a country where there is a real risk of persecution, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or any other human rights violation. 

As documented by UHRP and Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs, there has been 1546 cases of detention and deportation of Uyghurs across 28 countries between 1997 and 2021. 

The WUC reiterates its gratitude to MP Zuberi, the Uyghur Friendship Group and to its affiliate organization, the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project (URAP) for organizing events to mobilise support. WUC urges Canadians to take part in the letter-writing campaign initiated by URAP to write to their MPs asking to support the motion.

WUC urges governments to implement proactive resettlement programs where there is a risk of refoulement, and to reject criminal justice cooperation requests against Uyghurs that put them at risk of refoulement, and calls on UNHCR to continue registering Uyghurs in need of international protection, including in detention, and to issue a non-return advisory for China regarding groups systematically persecuted, such as Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples.