China: World Uyghur Congress calls for meaningful action to end Uyghur genocide
London: On the occasion of the UN’s 75th anniversary, the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) recently reiterated its calls on the UN and its Member States to meaningfully address the Uyghur crisis and hold the Chinese government accountable for its crimes.
Founded against the backdrop of the horrors of the Second World War and the Holocaust, the UN was established as the main intergovernmental orginization to prevent such atrocities from happening again.
Since 1945, a total of 193 countries have joined together in signing and ratifying thousands of resolutions, declarations and other expressions of their commitment to universal and indivisible rights and freedoms for all human beings.
Over the past 75 years, the UN has played a crucial role in humanity’s most significant achievements, lifting millions out of poverty and ensuring the freedom and dignity of countless more in the face of conflict, political turmoil, natural disaster and other threats to human rights. Yet, the UN’s founding principles remain as significant as ever, especially in light of the largest mass arbitrary detention since the Second World War occurring today, the WUC said in a statement.
Since 2017, millions of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims have been arbitrarily detained in internment camps in East Turkistan, where they are exposed to torture, sexual abuse, and forced labour, amongst other atrocities.
"This mass detention is part of the Chinese government’s targeted attack on every expression of a distinct Uyghur ethnic identity, including the destruction of mosques, shrines and graveyards, bans on the Uyghur language, and separation of Uyghur children from their families," read the statement.
Furthermore, the Chinese authorities have implemented a scheme to suppress Uyghur birthrates in East Turkistan, subjecting Uyghur women to forced abortions, mass sterilizations and other anticonceptive measures. Taken together, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) targeted campaign against the Uyghurs fits the criteria of a genocide under the UN genocide convention.
In light of the Uyghur genocide and China’s threat to the UN human rights mechanisms, the UN needs to step up and act in line with its self-pronounced core values.
This includes the establishment of an independent HRC mechanism to assess and monitor the ongoing and egregious human rights violations in East Turkistan.
Besides the need for concerted action from the UN, it is also up to individual Member States to act upon their commitments to defend human rights, as they are the ones ultimately responsible for the UN’s course of action.
Ultimately, the international community cannot continue to stand idly by while the Chinese government continues its genocide against the Uyghurs.
The CCP (Communist Party of China) has been able to systematically violate fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Uyghur people in East Turkistan with impunity while actively manipulating and undermining the UN human rights system.
This presents one of the most serious threats to the UN as an organization founded on the principles of dignity and equality. On its 75th anniversary, the UN can look back on its history with pride, but must not forget its ongoing responsibilities; if no appropriate measures are taken to stop the Uyghur crisis now, this will be remembered as an indelible stain on its record.