Centrally Led and Failing Uyghurs: New UHRP Report Catalogues Failing Policies

Brussels, 27 June 2012 – The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) welcomes the release of a report by the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) entitled ‘Uyghur Homeland, Chinese Frontier: The Xinjiang Work Forum and Centrally-Led Development,’ which examines current domestic development policies in East Turkestan and the Chinese government’s approach to their implementation.

When top Chinese government officials convened the Xinjiang Work Forum in May 2010, the result was an agenda brimming with economic and political development initiatives for East Turkestan. However two years on, the Uyghur community has yet to reap any benefits from such initiatives. According to the report, unemployment rates remain higher for Uyghurs, advertisements openly discriminate against them and a disproportionate number are living in poverty.

‘In almost every aspect of their daily lives, the Uyghur community in East Turkestan finds themselves the victims of both direct and indirect forms of discrimination. Though anti-discrimination legislation exists in China, authorities are not implementing it. The result is a community left increasingly marginalised and cut off from the economic prosperity that the rest of China is currently enjoying,’ according to Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary.

While large scale development plans have been executed as a result of the Work Programme, in many cases they come at the expense of Uyghur communities. According to the report, issues such as the demolition of Uyghur housing to make way for new construction has forcibly moved many and created severe disruptions for communities. Progress that results from the Programme has been widely acclaimed by Chinese government authorities, but the report maintains that this progress is one sided as Uyghurs are excluded from any dialogue or decision making on development policies.

UNPO has supported the adoption of an urgency resolution in the European Parliament calling for Uyghur culture to be protected and continued attention brought to bear on the deteriorating situation for Uyghurs. As a result, the UNPO strongly supports the recommendations made by the UHRP in their report, and encourages the Chinese government to improve the Xinjiang Work Programme for the inclusion of all members of society, in particular the Uyghur community.


To read the report in full, please click here or follow the link: