The World Uyghur Congress jointly with the Boston University School of Law submitted a report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). The report provides information to the committee for its review on China ahead of the 73rd Session (13 February 2023 – 03 March 2023). The report highlights China’s policies on arbitrary detention and forced labour, coercive mass birth control, discriminatory mass surveillance, and invasion of privacy, targeting the Uyghur and other Turkic and Muslim people.
The submission notes, China is in violation of:
ARTICLE 1: THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
Uyghurs are prohibited from exercising their right to self-determination, with the Chinese government prosecuting Uyghurs on false charges of “splittism”, suppressing peaceful assembly, and labeling any action promoting self-determination as “terrorist activity”.
ARTICLE 2: THE RIGHT TO NON-DISCRIMINATION
Despite China’s claim that its laws and policies are non-discriminatory, China has instituted a range of laws and policies to coerce, control, and restrict the expression of Uyghur identity, most blatantly through the internment of an estimated 3 million Uyghurs and other Turkic people in political indoctrination camps and the mass surveillance systems across the Uyghur Region, in which the government collects biometric data of Uyghurs.
ARTICLES 6 & 7: THE RIGHT TO WORK
China is using forced labour to exert social control over the Uyghur people, despite Art. 6.1 requiring China to respect, protect, and ensure the right of all people to make a living on their own through freely chosen activities. Uyghur forced labour is visible throughout the garment industry at all stages of production, as well as widespread in the solar industry and the automotive industry.
ARTICLE 10: THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION OF THE FAMILY AND CHILDREN
China fails to comply with Article 10 of the ICESCR by forcing Uyghur women to marry Han men; instituting a mass birth prevention strategy targeted at Uyghur and other Turkic and Muslim peoples; arbitrarily detaining Uyghur and other Turkic and Muslim peoples; and requiring their children to attend State-run boarding schools.
ARTICLE 12: THE RIGHT TO HEALTH
Credible reports of torture, inadequate and insufficient food, and sexual violence in detention facilities indicate that China fails to satisfy Art. 12’s guarantee of the highest attainable standard of health. Furthermore, Psychological torture, physical torture, sexual violence, and violations of bodily reproductive autonomy all contribute to lasting physical and mental health issues. All are in violation of the ICESCR right to health as well as Chinese domestic law.
ARTICLE 13: THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
Not only the use and instruction of the native languages of Uyghurs and other Turkic and Muslim peoples are prevented by China, but the Chinese government furthermore places children in state-run boarding schools and mass detains Uyghur and other Turkic and Muslim adults in forced labour programs and in “vocational education” centers.
ARTICLE 15: THE RIGHT TO CULTURAL LIFE
The Chinese government has undertaken efforts to destroy Uyghur landmarks. Large-scale Mosque destruction began under the “Mosque Rectification” programme, by which Chinese authorities conducted a systemic campaign to demolish or desecrate places of worship. In addition, China has attempted to alter and control the traditional practices and customs of the Uyghur culture, and has interned, imprisoned, and disappeared Uyghur intellectuals as part of an intensified campaign to suppress Uyghur cultural expression.
Read the full report here.