We Need to Talk About China: Uighur Detention Camps and Fragmented Responses from the International Community

Detainees listening to speeches in a re-education camp in Lop County, Xinjiang, April 2017

Rachel Coburn

The Chinese government has notoriously been running internment camps in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region since 2014. Claiming to be “re-education facilities to fight extremism” for the region’s predominantly Muslim population, the release of new information in the wake of a leak made to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) provides the international community with inside evidence of the cultural genocide being perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party.

As they are detained without trial and subjected to brainwashing and humiliation, Uighurs and other ethnic minorities are suffering vast human rights abuses.  The reaction of the international community has been divided – a number of states have condemned China’s actions, but an equal amount have sided with the PRC and chosen to accept their given narrative. This polarised reaction has resulted in minimal progress being made to hold China accountable for their actions. In order to stop the ethnic cleasning, the international community must use the multilateral procedures that are in place within international law to hold China accountable. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT The Institute of International Relations Prague