UHRP Marks 20 Years of Work on Documentation, Accountability, and Resilience


February 9, 2024 | 7:00 a.m. EST
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795, Peter Irwin +1 (646) 906-7722

The Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) is marking its 20th anniversary in 2024, to reflect on two decades of documentation and advocacy aimed at addressing ongoing atrocities against Uyghurs in East Turkistan. The anniversary will serve as an opportunity for UHRP to reaffirm its dedication to advocate for justice and accountability, and to chart a course for the future.

“As we mark 20 years of UHRP, we reaffirm our commitment to pursue justice for all those affected by atrocities in East Turkistan,” said UHRP Executive Director, Omer Kanat. “UHRP20 will be a moment not simply to reflect on progress in the Uyghur rights movement, but to determine an effective and dynamic path ahead.”

Throughout 2024, #UHRP20 activities will focus on three themes, in line with UHRP’s longtime commitment to be a consistent voice for Uyghur rights:

  1. Documentation and early warning: Over the past 20 years, UHRP has diligently documented violations of political, civil, economic, cultural, and social rights in East Turkistan. The anniversary serves as an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned and address gaps in existing detection frameworks designed to anticipate atrocities.
  2. Accountability, justice, and remediation: UHRP will review past efforts and outline remaining challenges in holding perpetrators of human rights abuses accountable. The organization remains committed to pursuing justice for the Uyghur people and advocating for meaningful remediation measures.
  3. Resilience and rescue: Looking to the future, UHRP will expand its research and advocacy efforts to support safe haven for survivors, and to support the strength and resilience of the Uyghur diaspora community.

Founded February 9, 2004, UHRP has been at the forefront of raising awareness about the plight of the Uyghurs and advocating for justice on the international stage through research and advocacy. Since its founding, UHRP has released more than 80 reports and briefings as well as 850+ statements and submissions to policymakers.

Our work guides policymakers, and has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and over 300 other outlets around the world. Our op-eds and commentary have been published in Foreign Policy, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Diplomat, The Independent, and the LA Review of Books, among other outlets.

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.

As we mark this 20-year milestone, UHRP reaffirms our commitment to these core objectives: 

  • Champion Uyghur-led research and advocacy, emphasizing the importance of authentic voices in shaping narratives and policies concerning the Uyghur community;
  • Advocate for a reassessment of early warning signs and indicators to atrocities, given that early indicators of atrocities targeting Uyghurs have been disregarded;
  • Pursue redemption for individuals, families, and communities decimated by genocide, emphasizing the urgent need for justice and accountability.