WEEKLY BRIEF: SEPTEMBER 10 2021
200+ Rights Groups Call On Broadcasters To Drop Beijing 2022
On September 8, in a public letter, a coalition of over 200 Tibetan, Uyghur, Southern Mongolian, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Chinese Democracy and human rights campaign groups called on 26 Olympic broadcasters – including NBC, BBC, CBC, Sky, and Discovery – to “immediately cancel your broadcasting deals” to screen the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics or face a serious risk of being complicit in China’s plan to ‘sport wash’ their severe human rights abuses. The joint letter outlines the stark hypocrisy of the media companies’ human rights policies that claim to promote and protect individuals. The reality is that Tibetans, Uyghurs, Hongkongers, Southern Mongolians, and Chinese people live under some of the worst oppression the world has ever seen.
“Uyghur Forced Labour is Out of Fashion”
On September 9, rights groups were present at the New York Fashion Week to call out brands for their complicity in Uyghur forced labour. From 11 cities, people came together to show their support for Uyghurs and call for an end to the complicity of the fashion industry in the Uyghur genocide. With 20% of the world’s cotton supply coming from the Uyghur region, forced labor is an issue that puts the large portion of the fashion industry at risk.
Highlighting the liability risk this poses to companies who choose to look away, on September 6, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) filed a criminal complaint in Germany against five retailers including C&A, Lidl and Hugo Boss, accusing them of benefiting from forced labor of Uyghur. This follows a similar move in France, in June.
“China -Whal-Check”, A New Interactive Tool in Germany
The Chinese government is committing massive human rights crimes in China and is acting more assertively than ever before. How do the German parties want to deal with this? A joint initiative of the WUC and Germany-based NOGs asked the parties, on the basis of which an interactive tool has been built. In the context of the German federal elections, the initiative aims to inform the German public what the position of the respective political parties is regarding China.
UN Experts Urge The EU To Include Safeguards For Human Rights Defenders in the Upcoming Mandatory Due Diligence Legislation
The European Union has a chance to set an example for the entire world by protecting people who risk their lives standing up for human rights in the context of business activities, UN experts said on September 6th. In the 10 years since the Human Rights Council adopted the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, business compliance has remained extremely low. In the same period, increasing numbers of human rights defenders have been killed for their work. The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights has recently developed guidance setting forth expectations that businesses address risks to defenders and that States address this as part of their own mandatory human rights due diligence regulations.
The Uyghur Tribunal Holds its Second Final Set of Hearings
On September 10th, the Uyghur Tribunal started its second set of four-day hearings. During these hearings, more than thirty of fact and expert witnesses are expected to testify about their experiences of, and research findings on, the Uyghur crisis. These September hearings follow the first set of hearings in June, during which the Uyghur Tribunal’s expert panel heard various camp survivors describing abuses such as systematic rape and other forms of gender-based violence, torture, and killings.