Who We Are

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) promotes the rights of the Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim peoples in East Turkistan, referred to by the Chinese government as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, through research-based advocacy. UHRP was founded in 2004 as a project of the Uyghur American Association and became an independent nonprofit organization in 2016.

We publish reports and analysis, in English and Chinese, to defend Uyghurs’ civil, political, social, cultural, and economic rights according to international human rights standards. We also submit reports and policy recommendations to governments and multilateral bodies like the UN and EU.

We have released more than 80 reports and briefings as well as 400+ statements and press releases since 2004. Our research has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Washington Post, Associated Press, Reuters, Radio Free Asia, Deutsche Welle, and many other outlets. Our op-eds and commentary have been published in Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Diplomat, The Independent, EU Observer, Hong Kong Free Press, and the LA Review of Books, among other outlets.

Our staff and board have testified before parliament in the UK, Canada, Australia, and the EU as well as the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, the US Senate Human Rights Caucus, US Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC), the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the US Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus, and the Uyghur Tribunal.

UHRP received the Liu Xiaobo Conscience Award in 2019 and the Visual Artists Guild Champion of Freedom of Speech Award in 2021. 

About the Uyghurs

Uyghurs are ethnically and culturally a Turkic people living in the area of Central Asia commonly known as East Turkistan, which the Chinese government controls through what many scholars recognize as a settler-colonial occupation.

Today, the Uyghur homeland has been turned into a high-tech police state with ubiquitous surveillance blanketing cities and villages. Since 2017, the Chinese government has carried out an ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity, arbitrarily detaining an estimated 1.8–3 million Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples in concentration camps and hundreds of thousands more in the prison system. Uyghurs have been subject to atrocity crimes that include arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, forced labor, torture, sexual violence, coercive birth prevention campaigns, and the widespread destruction of cultural and religious sites.

The Uyghur Region is vast, constituting one-sixth of the total land area under the control of the People’s Republic of China. The Uyghurs have a rich cultural history going back almost 4,000 years. Before embracing Islam in the tenth century, Uyghurs practiced Buddhism, Manichaeism, and Nestorian Christianity, and speak a distinctive language written in Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic alphabets.

East Turkistan has a rich and distinctive history, enhanced by its position in Central Asia, part of the ancient Silk Road bridging Turkic, Arabic, Persian, and European cultures to the west with China to the east.

Why Our Voice Matters

UHRP strives to be a voice for Uyghurs in East Turkistan and abroad. We provide a platform for Uyghurs to be heard internationally; assist diaspora members to conduct research using verified sources; foster new generations of Uyghur human rights defenders; and support survivors, family members of victims, and refugees to find safe haven and bear witness.


Book Talk with Darren Byler

Watch the UHRP event in conversation with anthropologist Dr. Darren Byler, a leading expert on the Uyghur crisis, about his new book In the Camps: China's High-Tech Penal Colony.

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